16 Popular Word Games for Seniors to Enjoy [update 2023]
The benefits of playing word games and games for seniors are pretty significant, even without considering how fun and entertaining they can be. In addition to being amusing and a great pastime, word games are educational and can be used to improve oneself.
Most word games need the players’ full attention. A player must be highly focused, whether actively searching for a word on a game board or searching their minds for a solution to the given letters. Therefore, word games for seniors can serve to practice concentration skills.
This article is what you need if you want to check the magic of word games for seniors for yourself.
Why Word Games?
Apart from the significant improvement in concentration and focus, there are far more reasons for seniors to play word games. Before moving on to the popular word games, let’s review some of the benefits of word games for seniors:
1. Word Games for Seniors Can Reduce the Risk of Dementia
On April 1, 2011, my career of 35 years in teaching came to an end. I had trouble meeting deadlines and could only concentrate on one thing at a time. My inability to retain what I’ve just been told was frustrating for me. The staff were getting worried. At first, I didn’t face up to the fact that I had Dementia. I thought of it as ‘forgetful’ and ‘scatty,’ but I could no longer deal with shopping or money. The less I could do, the more restless I became. My needs were becoming more demanding, as I needed increasing help with dressing, toileting and bathing.
Anna’s sad story is just one of the thousands of stories told by seniors who have Dementia and are unaware of the healing power of word games for seniors. Statistics show that 1 out of every 14 people over 65 in the UK has Dementia, which significantly impacts their lives and society. In 2015, more than 50 million people were living with Dementia, and unfortunately, as the population grows and ages, the number of people affected will likely surpass 130 million by 2050.
Memory loss and behavioural changes are the first signs of Dementia. Slowly but relentlessly, cognition declines, language is disrupted, and behaviour changes occur, diminishing a person’s independence. Many people think there’s no escape at this stage, and their lives have ended. However, we are here to tell you Dementia is not an end. By keeping the mind active, Dementia’s adverse effects can be kept at bay or minimized.
Word games are among the top activities that can actually prevent the eventual onset of Dementia in seniors. A Harvard study has shown that you can help prevent cognitive decline with good health practices such as playing word games. Indeed, word games reinforce your ability to retrieve memories and think; they also involve employing mental skills at once: memory, visualization, and sequencing; this clearly explains why seniors playing word games have improved their attention, reasoning, and memory test scores.
2. Games for Seniors Help Build Social Bonds
Word games are fun to play with a group. Even amid a competition, players and spectators can exchange ideas and learn new words and meanings by simply conversing. You’ll always play against friends, family, or others. Spending time competing and trying to solve word puzzles with your friends is always a good time to strengthen your bonds or even form new ones.
Here is our top word game suggestion that you can play with your friends that can bring a lot of fun to your circle:
3. Word Games Help Seniors Relieve Stress
Unfortunately, stress may remain a constant concern as we age. Even more competitive word games, such as Scrabble, can help relieve stress by having a soothing quality. Players can quickly forget about their problems by immersing themselves in the letters and words. Playing word games aids in the reduction of their anxiety and stress.
Furthermore, because players must use all of their cognitive skills while playing rather than serving as an escape, these games can help people unconsciously organize and calm their minds.
4. Word Games Help Seniors Boost Self-Esteem
Word games are an excellent way for seniors to keep their minds active while encouraging them to maintain their language skills. Besides, we all enjoy winning! And solving a puzzle or coming up with an impressive answer is a great mood booster. It can also aid in developing self-esteem and the reduction of boredom and anxiety.
5. Games Can Help Stimulate New Learning
Most word games stretch your mind and force you to think outside the box. Solving a word game is difficult because you must make numerous trials and errors. Playing games for seniors will force you to formulate bizarre theories, then test them to determine whether you are right or wrong. Your brain will be equipped with creative and innovative ideas due to solving problems. Solving a word game will help you improve your memory and thinking skills. In other words, playing word games is one of the best ways to keep seniors mentally active.
6. Playing with Words Improves Strategic Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
Word games for seniors are a great way to sharpen and improve our problem-solving abilities. Word games can assist in the development of mental agility and strategic thinking. You can improve your problem-solving skills by playing word games. Making a new word out of a jumble of letters requires mental strength, and it necessitates applying your mind to tasks that require you to excel as a problem solver. And this is how word games can stimulate your brain while also encouraging you to solve problems independently.
7. Word Games are the Best Entertainment for Seniors
Word games are unquestionably one of the most engaging and entertaining ways to pass the time. Alongside their numerous cognitive and mental health benefits, word games can also be super fun. Board games, based on the principle of surfing, allow you to test your cultural knowledge and compete against friends or strangers for a common goal. Whether you play aggressively or defensively, at your own pace or quickly, conquering the unoccupied premium squares, word games can become engaging as soon as you master the basic principles, resulting in hours of fun and new strategies.
16 Best Word Games for Seniors
With all these reasons in mind, we have listed the top 16 word games for seniors that can help them in preventing Dementia. Moreover, if you enjoy games and are looking for new ways to spend time with your loved ones, check out top games for seniors to entertain themselves.
Here are the top 16 word games for seniors:
1. Words in Words
A fun brain game for seniors! As well as providing mental stimulation and social interaction, it helps promote self-esteem. This game keeps seniors entertained and exercises their minds. Brain games can improve cognitive function, slow cognitive decline, and possibly prevent degenerative diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and Dementia.
To play Word in Word, First, you need a large piece of paper or a whiteboard. Ask a player to think of a word for the game. You can choose any word as long as it is not too short. Then, write the words on a whiteboard and ask participants to make other words using the same letters.
One of the best word games for seniors! Games such as Scrabble are excellent for increasing brainpower. You can play Scrabbles with just two players or more. And it can be an excellent way of improving your vocabulary. Make sure to get a large-letter version of scrabble if you have eyesight problems. You play this classic word game on a board with squares marked with letter tiles. The frequency of the letters determines their point value (Some letters will score more points). In the end, scrabble will look like a crossword: a collection of words overlapping one another.
Boggle is a two-player game with no maximum. This word game uses 16 letter cubes, a cube grid with a dome on top, and a 3-minute timer, which should all come with your game. In this game, the highest point total wins. The game’s objective is to create words from the randomly sorted letters in the grid by fitting them together. Boggle’s rules state that words with a longer length have a higher point value.
4. Big Letter Bananagrams
A Bananagrams is a fast and easy word game that doesn’t require pencils, papers, or a board, and the tiles are packaged in fabric banana bags. Similar to some card games for seniors, you can play one hand in just five minutes.
To play this word game, put all 144 tiles face down in the middle of the table. They make up the “Bunch.” Now, each player takes their ‘Starting Titles’ from the Bunch:
- Start with 21 tiles each for 2-4 players.
- Start with 15 tiles each for 5-6 players.
- 7-8 players: each player starts with 11 tiles.
Any player can start by calling out “Split!” Each person turns their tile face up simultaneously, arranging it in their intersecting word grid. Horizontally or vertically, words must be readable from left to right. Whenever you like, you can rearrange your grid. Big Letter Bananagrams is one of the best hobbies for seniors.
5. Complete the Saying
By using famous sayings, idioms, and proverbs from their past, seniors will be able to play a matching game. It can result in pleasant reminiscences and conversation. It can be adapted to suit various abilities, and even people living with Dementia disease can play it. Depending on the level of the players, cut each proverb or saying in half or leave out the last word.
This brain game is on the list of fun brain games for seniors. The Upwords board game is a three-dimensional Scrabble-like game for two to four players. As well as a plastic game board, 100 plastic letter tiles, and four plastic tile racks, the game includes a label sheet. As in a crossword puzzle, players stack the tiles to spell out words by playing letters across or down. In Upwords, players can also stack letters on top of each other to make new words. With Upwords, you can build your vocabulary while having fun with your family.
You only need paper and a pen to play this fun brain game for seniors. Two to four people can play this game.
The first person comes up with a word or phrase, and the others guess it one letter at a time. The player draws several dashes equal to the number of letters in the word. After that, other players suggest letters that occur in the word and try to fill in the blanks with the suggested letters in the right place.
If the word they choose doesn’t contain the suggested letter, the other player draws an element of a hangman’s gallows. A segment of the gallows and a victim is added for every suggested letter not found in the word. A character in a noose provides a minimum of six incorrect guesses to the players until the game ends. The first player to guess the correct answer thinks of the word for the next round.
8. Word Search
Playing Word Search puzzles is a fun and relaxing activity for seniors. The rules are simple. An alphabet grid and a word list accompany each puzzle. Locate all the words and phrases that are hidden in the grid and circle them. In addition to horizontally and vertically, forwards and backwards are possible directions to hide the words. You can play this game solo.
9. Crossword Puzzles
This classic word game is one of the most popular hobbies for seniors since it stimulates the mind. In this activity, seniors look at clues and then try to think of words that match the clues to use their language and memory skills. This word game engages more than one area of the brain simultaneously, as seniors need to consider both word length and letter positioning. Therefore, you can create your crossword puzzle for your loved one if regular crossword puzzles are too complex.
10. Rhyming Ball
Playing this game keeps your brain and thinking skills sharp. The Rhyming Ball game is a simple word game that seniors can play in groups of 2 to 20 people. It begins when players throw a ball to a player, who then has to say a word. Using the ball, players throw it to other participants, who have to rhyme every following word. You can use this game to enhance your loved one’s vocabulary and critical thinking skills.
Top 6 Free Online Word Games for Seniors
Thanks to the internet, seniors can avoid loneliness by socializing and using technology. Online games are a great way to keep seniors entertained and allow them to interact with friends and family. You can find various games for seniors, ranging from games that enhance your cognitive skills to simple, fun games that you can play independently. Here is a list of the top five free online word games for seniors.
11. Witty Words
”Witty Words‘ is a word game developed especially for seniors to improve cognitive function, combat dementia, and stimulate the brain. This game allows seniors to test their vocabulary and brain with word connections and daily crossword puzzles. Each new chapter and word becomes more difficult as the game progresses.
Witty Words can even help you combat Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Just download, play, and enjoy the mind-sharpening word riddles.
12. Eight Letters
Eight letters is a fun brain game for seniors. You’ll have to create words using the eight letters presented to you on the screen to earn points. The longer the word, the more points you will earn.
13. Daily Quick Crossword
The classic crossword puzzle is a popular word game among senior citizens, but that is more a stereotype than real. AARP Games features several online crossword puzzles, including a daily crossword solution. This game has an intuitive interface that makes clues easy to read. It’s possible to reveal letters, words, or the entire puzzle if you’re stuck.
14. Cryptogram Quotations
This game is a lot like starring in a Hollywood thriller when you play the role of an international spy. In Cryptogram Quotations, you have to decipher the secret message using a substitution code. The message has been encrypted, with letters substituted for each other. To solve this clue, you will need to use your knowledge of spelling patterns and sentence structure.
15. CrossCraze Pro
CrossCraze Pro is a fun word game for seniors similar to Scrabble. The generic mode requires linking new words to existing words on the board. The second mode is to drop new tiles over existing ones to create words in that way. You can play with friends or an AI with ten difficulty levels. Furthermore, nine languages are supported, as are 12 board themes and 28 layouts. A hint system is also available for those who need it.
16. The Word Search
Word search puzzles have been among the top hobbies for seniors for years with paper and pencil. Seniors can also enjoy word searches digitally as fantastic online games. You can find many different types of word search puzzles over one The Word Search website.
It’s an old myth that you only use 10 percent of your brain. You actually use all of it, even when you are sleeping. Neurologists verify that your brain is always active, and you need to keep it that way. Environment, exercise and healthy eating are all involved in this journey, and the numerous benefits of games for older adults are tested and proven.
Word games for seniors are a great way to socialize and reduce stress levels, so give them a try and come back here to share your experience and questions with others in the comment section.
I love the word search, I haven’t played it in a long time, but it was one of my favourite games when I was a student. Big Letter Bananagrams is also a great game; I play it with my son and granddaughter every week. I haven’t tried the other games, except the crossword puzzle and scrabble.
Thanks for the great games; I have all forgotten about word games. I remember playing a game called bulls and cows with my parents. It wasn’t precisely a word game, somehow similar to the hangman; only it was played with numbers.
After 58 years, I still love scrabble. I was a literature student, so I remember having a lot of fun playing it with my friends and making them mad with choosing complicated, difficult-to-remember words to play. Honestly, some of the best parts of my time were spent playing this game.
I agree! Playing scramble is an inseparable part of our plans whenever we hang out with our friends, and we really enjoy it. We have pretty fun and enjoying time by scramble.
Oh, hangman is just so fun for me. I don’t know why because it is a very simple game, but it is my favourite word game. It’s always my number one suggestion when my family and I decide to play a game.
Sometimes I think if someone takes crossword puzzles from me, I would have no other way to survive. I’d die out of boredom without them. Solving one is literally my number one activity whenever I’m free.
For some reason, my grandchildren love playing word search games with me. I have a huge collection of similar games, and they show a lot of interest in them whenever they visit me. I really enjoy playing with them, too.
I LOVE Scrabble and crosswords.
I need the distraction, and I find them soothing. Focusing on an entirely different set of “problems” often allows me to see a useful solution to a work-related situation by letting my mind to be fully absorbed in something else for a few minutes.
I know they are supposed to teach me multitasking, but the whole concept seems ridiculous to me.
If you have four things to do, why not give each ALL of your attention? There will be fewer mistakes, chances are the same amount of time will be spent, and it’s less stressful.
I think it is a great idea to do crossword puzzles, or some Sudoku puzzles…These activities help us keep our minds sharp, so why not.
But I’m surprised this article didn’t mention Word Wow!
You assemble words made of three letters (and that’s limited) or more to crush tiles (and no, it’s not Bookworm, but maybe similar).
The more words created, the more tiles are wiped away to help the worm to continue it’s journey to the bottom of the screen.
I’ve been playing Word Wow for at least two years now and LOVE it!
It would be a great deal more helpful if people my age at least mixed the crosswords and all the other rubbish with walks.
I speak from experience here!
There is a saying that, to avoid dementia, you should do The Times Cryptic Crossword every day and walk a mile. I’ve always assumed that one out of two isn’t bad, but after a year of lock down, I realize I’ve made a stupid mistake!
Loads of finished crosswords are very satisfactory, but you are in trouble if you can no longer carry them out for recycling!
Thanks for sharing the information. Very informative for our clients.
I was a big fan of doing crossword puzzles, as far as I remember. A few years ago, when I was still working, I used to buy crossword magazines every week on my way back home. Since then, my health condition has changed slightly, and now it’s more difficult for me to go out there and buy magazines because of my mobility issue. Are there any free smartphone apps for doing crosswords? I’ll appreciate it if anyone could send me the download links.
If you enjoy crossword puzzle apps, Scrabble is a terrific game to play. I enjoy creating new words and topping my own high scores. If you don’t own the board game, don’t have anyone to play with, or just want to play by yourself, I’d recommend the EA Scrabble app.
I loved this list. These are the type of games I was looking for.
The best puzzle or task is the one your loved one will do.
When my dad showed early signs of dementia, a friend sent some sudoku pages for her. Dad shouted and threw them on the floor. “I don’t do math!”
Of course, I know now that my dad’s dementia affected his mental abilities. Still, he refused to play a game of Scrabble with me all his life, and I never knew him to attempt a crossword. He was deeply fearful that he was “stupid” and never challenged himself with a trivial game he may fail at…