Planning Party Games for Senior Citizens

By Ainsley Whitley
seniors, a variety, games
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Parties and other social activities improve the quality of life for seniors and helps them feel more "at home." However, when planning party games for older adults, you must consider potential limitations your elder group may have. For example, craft games are good for parties, but elders with arthritic fingers may find crafts physically challenging. Memory games, trivia, card games and gentle movement games are better options.

Memory Games

Seniors can enjoy themselves while training their memories, which benefits cognition. To play an image match game, place cards face-down in a large square. Seniors take turns turning over a card and trying to find the match. They have to remember where the cards are that were turned over previously. Go Fish is another memory game seniors will enjoy. Players are dealt cards and try to get sets of four matching cards by asking other players for a card they need. Players must remember what cards the other players asked for so they can strategize.

Senior Trivia Games

Nostalgia trivia, made up of facts from their youth, is a great way to get seniors laughing and reminiscing. You may print trivia questions from nostalgia trivia websites, which have facts from 50-plus years ago. Another idea is to divide seniors into teams and let each team choose a category. One team member is able to see the trivia answer and provides his team with hints. Categories could include television and movies, politics, food and geography.

Active Games

Although many seniors have some degree of limited mobility, gentle movement helps keep them active. Balloon toss is a game even seniors in wheelchairs can enjoy. Everyone gathers in a circle and the host calls out a color. The person holding the balloon must toss it to someone wearing that color. Once that person catches it, another color is called out and so on. Another idea is balloon drop, which involves dividing the seniors into groups of two teams. One team tosses the balloon to the other team and they must toss it back without letting it hit the floor. Both teams have to try to keep the balloon in the air.

Other Games

Mock Kentucky is an exciting game that keeps seniors engaged. You'll need a printout of a mock race track, dice, fake money and small plastic horse figurines. Members name their horses, place bets and roll dice to move their horses around the track. Another idea is to play Guess Who, which involves having the seniors bring childhood photos of themselves. Players then take turns guessing to which person in the group the photo belongs. The person who gets the most right wins a prize.

About the Author

Ainsley Whitley is a contributing writer for various branded properties that together attract more than 280 million readers seeking influential content. Whitley's articles have appeared in various print and online magazines, including "GQ," "Details," "Southern Living" and "Cooking Light."