It’s a fact that some level of memory loss may happen as you age. But this loss doesn’t necessarily indicate that you have a major problem. Forgetting names or where you left your keys is no cause for alarm.
The National Institutes for Health says about 40% of seniors 65 or older have some memory loss, and about 10% have mild cognitive impairment.
Keeping your brain active may be a way to stave off some of the worst of memory loss. A study for the National Institute of Aging says video games may be used to enhance cognitive health in older adults. An AARP study says 50.6 million seniors now play video games.
Find out some of the best handheld electronic games and video games for seniors.
Best Types of Handheld Games for Seniors
There are many digital handheld games available to seniors. You’ll find them in stores such as Target and Walmart, or in online stores such as Amazon. Some of the best include:
- Poker – This is one of several poker games out there, but it’s popular on Amazon. It plays five different games, such as Draw and Deuces, features automatic shutoff and takes one battery.
- Slots – This slot-machine game is all for fun, with easy-to-use buttons. It takes batteries.
- Solitaire – This simple game has an LCD screen and plays Draw 1 or Draw 3 games. It can be played with or without sound and will turn itself off after sitting idle for two minutes. It’s battery operated.
- Sudoku – The game of sudoku is a big hit with seniors, and this electronic version doesn’t require any pens or keeping track of where you are in a game book. It has several levels of difficulty, remembers where you left off, and includes sleep mode. Game requires batteries.
- Yahtzee – The dice game is reproduced in an easy-to-use digital game. You can easily “roll” the dice and decide which to keep before your next roll. This game will keep score for you. It is battery operated.
Handheld consoles act like video games you play on a computer, but instead you play on a portable device. They can be pricey, so be sure to compare prices at Amazon, Target, Walmart and other retailers before getting one.
- Nintendo Switch – This game comes with two controllers. It can be played as a handheld game, set up for play for two with a tabletop screen, or can connect to a television screen for play. It plays the library of Nintendo Switch games. It has a rechargeable battery.
- Nintendo Switch Lite – This is a one-person version of the Switch. It’s playable as a handheld and has one rechargeable battery.
- Nintendo New 2DS XL – This is a version of Nintendo’s old DS, which plays games on a small flip screen. It comes with a stylus and plays Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS and most Nintendo DS games in 2D. It comes with a rechargeable battery.
- Analogue Pocket Console – This game recreates the feel of the old Game Boy device. It plays Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance game cartridges. It has a rechargeable battery.
Don’t forget how playable games on your phone are. There are hundreds of options, depending on your phone and your skill level. Here are some popular games for phones. Click through to find the version for your phone:
- Angry Birds – This classic is still around and kicking. The Angry Birds website has the original version, Angry Birds 2, Angry Birds Journey and other versions of the game.
- Candy Crush – Candy Crush is another classic that has several versions available. Try Candy Crush, Saga and Friends and more to find a version you’ll enjoy most.
- Draw Something – This is a game you play with a friend or with a random player who also has the app. Take turns for as long as you want to play.
- Words With Friends – This is like a Draw Something with words. It mimics Scrabble and lets you connect with a friend or random stranger.
- Wordscape – Another spelling game with several versions available. Link letters to form words and compile points.
- Wordle – This game is by far the current favorite of game players. Not actually an app, but a game of word guessing played on the web. This link will take you to a playable version of the game. Bookmark it or make a shortcut on your phone to play every day.
Consoles are more expensive options, but they give you hundreds of options for game play. Some of the more popular consoles run into the hundreds of dollars, but watch for sales.
- Sony Playstation 5 – This updated version of Playstation connects to the internet to allow gaming with other people online.
- Wii Sports – This game doubles as exercise equipment. With the controllers, you can play baseball, bowling, boxing, golf, tennis and much more.
- Xbox Series X – The console downloads games when you want them, and you can buy a membership for new games and updates as they occur.
Stay in Shape at a Senior Lifestyle Community
Gaming isn’t the only way to exercise your mind and body. Senior Lifestyle communities offer programming and fitness clubs that let you life your best life without the cares and concerns of everyday living.