For the elderly, frequently taking part in activities that exercise the brain can guard against memory loss. Brain games help to stimulate parts of the brain that are not used frequently, improving memory. Keep the brain game or activity enjoyable to encourage the participant to continue using the exercise, since frequent brain exercise is associated with improvements in memory.
Playing card games, like Memory or Solitaire, can improve brain memory for the elderly. Card games that require more than one person, such as Go Fish, also engage seniors in socializing while getting mental exercise.
Board games like Monopoly, Chess and Checkers exercise the brain. Senior citizens engage with others while thinking of strategy and improving memory. Playing a board game with another person makes the game variable and fun.
Completing a puzzle is a mental workout that leaves the elderly with a sense of accomplishment when completed. Puzzles may be tactile puzzles to put together, or mental puzzles such as Crosswords or Sudoku. A senior citizen may complete a puzzle on his own, or with a group of people.
Video games that focus on memory and strategy can be used for the elderly. Some seniors may need instruction before using a video game. There are a wide variety of games tailored to brain training and mental exercise.
Reading retains mental focus and is an enjoyable activity for many senior citizens. Reading offers more protection from memory loss than writing.
Learning a new skill or hobby can improve brain function and memory for the elderly. Learning a musical instrument or a new song works the brain in areas that may not be frequently used. Classes to learn a new skill, such as painting, exercise the brain and provide an opportunity for seniors to socialize.