Memory Care

Memory Games that Strengthen Cognitive Skills in Seniors

September 20th, 2023

CRISTA Senior Living Blog - Elderly woman playing memory game

Memory games aren’t just for kids! Seniors can strengthen their cognitive abilities and memory retention by playing them. Community members at CRISTA Senior Living enjoy cognitive-building activities that help strengthen memory. Here are five memory games that can help you engage with seniors who struggle with memory loss.

Matching Cards Improve Memory for Seniors

This classic game involves a deck of cards with matching pairs faced down. Players take turns flipping two cards at a time, trying to find matching pairs. It’s a fantastic way for seniors to improve their short-term memory and concentration skills. To add a personal touch, you can use cards with pictures of family members or memorable places.

Word Association Memory Game

This game challenges seniors to create a chain of related words. For example, start with a word like “sun,” and the next player has to think of a word related to it, such as “beach.” The game continues, and each player must remember the previous words and add a new one. It’s a fantastic memory and word-association exercise.

Simon Says for Seniors

This classic game is not just for kids! Seniors can have a blast and enhance their memory skills with Simon Says. One person takes the role of “Simon” and issues commands like “Simon says touch your nose.” The twist is that players should only follow the command if it begins with “Simon says.” This game is excellent for memory and listening skills.

Picture Recall Builds Memory

Show a group of seniors a picture for a limited time (e.g., 30 seconds) and then ask them to recall specific details or elements from the image. You can use photographs of famous landmarks, animals, or memorable events. This game challenges short-term memory and attention to detail.

Elderly woman playing memory game with daughter

Improvisation and Play Memory Games

Taproot Theatre holds classes for seniors with early-stage memory loss every second Tuesday of the month at Greenwood Senior Center in Seattle, WA. There is no memory requirement, just the delight of participating in a creative experience that releases the imagination while giving a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence, and social enrichment.

Remember, the key to making memory games enjoyable for seniors is to keep the atmosphere light and stress-free. Encourage friendly competition and celebrate each participant’s achievements. As seniors see improvements in their memory and cognitive abilities, they’ll be eager to keep playing these engaging games. Additionally, you can modify the games based on individual preferences and capabilities to ensure everyone can actively participate and have a great time. For more memory strengthening tips, read our blog, “7 Memory Boosting Activities for Seniors.”

Find out more about CRISTA Senior Living Memory Care in Shoreline, WA. We’d love to take you on a tour.

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I would like to commend Cristwood Park staff on their efforts to protect themselves and their residents from COVID. It’s been a concern of ours since last March and we have been relieved to see so few cases in the Cristwood Park community. I would like to thank the staff and leadership for their diligence in maintaining good protocols throughout this pandemic.

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Exceptional personalized holistic care. Helps keep Mom’s mind active and she flourishes with the nurturing care. Especially of value currently given the COVID restrictions. We are genuinely pleased with our mom's care.

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Thinking back on all the great care you and your team have given her at CRISTA, we thank you for all that. I am sure it made a difference in the quality of her life.

I appreciate the personal relationship I have with the staff and the good communication they give me.

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