As people age, it is natural for the brain to slow down in certain ways. The recall might be slower, the ability to do several things at the same time might decrease, and there might be a gradual loss in the ability to focus.
However, the older population does have one advantage over the younger crowd: they have gained more knowledge and experience over their decades of living. With that, they have amassed a larger vocabulary, and the words they use often have a deeper meaning.
So, one way for seniors to keep their minds sharp is to reinforce what is strong, which is the power of their vocabulary. A good method to do that is to engage in activities that center on the use of words, like word games.
Crossword puzzles and Scrabble are some of the favorites among seniors. However, it’s cumbersome to carry around a board game, and sometimes holding a pencil to do a crossword puzzle can be difficult. Word game apps for mobile devices, which are quickly becoming the most popular type of game apps for seniors, can solve that problem.
Best Word Game Apps For Seniors
Seniors who like to play word games need word game apps that are fun and challenging.
They must be easy to install and simple to play on their phones or mobile devices. There are hundreds of word game apps that are free to download.
Below are some word games that are particularly popular.
This online version of an old classic needs no explanation. You can customize the level of difficulty by changing the size of the game board.
For seniors who know another language other than English, they can even choose a word search board in another language like Spanish, French, German, and many more. A leaderboard is available so you can challenge your friends.
You can find Word Search on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Wheel of Fortune: Show Puzzles
Seniors will be familiar with this official mobile game based on the all-time favorite TV game show. You can be a contestant and spin the Wheel of Fortune with Pat Sajak!
Guess letters, buy a vowel, and see them appear on the all-to-familiar game board. You can play on your own or play with others through its built-in online interaction function.
Cryptogram – Decrypt Quotes
The goal of Cryptogram – Decrypt Quotes (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store) is to decrypt famous quotes. This will challenge the seniors to draw quotes from their memory that they have learned from their decades of reading.
You can choose from different categories like “Love,” “Wisdom,” or choose from authors like William Shakespeare. The game has different levels of difficulty, and it offers hints if you get stuck.
Quotes can inspire and motivate, and they can remind seniors of the positive things in life.
This online version of an old favorite also does not need any introduction. The nice thing about the app is that you can choose from countless themes of lovely backgrounds that make playing more enjoyable. There are puzzles at every level of difficulty.
If you get stuck, you can get a hint. There are free puzzles every day. Another benefit is that you don’t have to be online to play because you can access many puzzles offline.
There is no learning curve for seniors because these are just like the crossword puzzles that they have done for decades on paper.
Crossword Puzzle is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
This game combines word search with a style similar to Crossword. You are given a game board in a crossword-style and a number of letters. You make words out of the letters to fit onto the game board until you have filled in all of the spaces.
Wordscapes tests your vocabulary strength, and it also lets you learn new words if the letters you fit in create a word that you have never heard of. You can click on the word to learn its definition.
The game background is a lovely scene of nature which makes this game even more pleasant to play.
Alphabear features dancing bears that are beyond cute. You select letters on a grid and spell words. When you use adjacent letters, bears show up!
As you use more letters, you earn more points, and the bear grows! When you solve the puzzle, you get to keep the bear for your collection. These bears will also help you in future games.
Seniors will enjoy the whimsical bear theme as well as the challenge to their vocabulary strength.
How Do Word Games Help Seniors?
Word games provide benefits to seniors at many levels. Here are some of the potential benefits.
Great Way To Relieve Stress
Sometimes seniors can be too focused on their medical issues and become stressed. Playing word games can help them take their mind off of their medical problems.
Although the games won’t make the medical problems go away, helping them think about something else can ease their stress for a bit, which can contribute to their well-being.
Winning A Game Gives Seniors A Sense Of Accomplishment
An elderly person is often limited in what he can accomplish physically, which can lead him to feel that he can’t do much of anything anymore. However, winning a round in a word game can reverse that feeling. It can bring a sense of achievement.
As the senior advances to the next level, it will motivate him to face new challenges and strive to overcome them. The accomplishments at each step can boost the senior’s self-esteem, which is a powerful way to preserve a healthy attitude.
Allows Connection With Other Game Players
Many online word games allow players to either play against each other or play on a team to accomplish a common goal. Either way, the game offers the senior a way to interact with other players.
Isolation has a negative impact on mental health, and playing word games with other players is another way for seniors to socialize, which helps in preventing isolation.
Provides A Way To Learn
Word games can introduce new words to the senior’s vocabulary. Learning anything new is always beneficial to the brain as the new information improves the brain’s cognitive function.
Challenges The Mind To Retrieve Information
Word games challenge the senior to recall specific words to fit gameplay. When you try to recall something, it makes the brain access parts of the brain that store the information.
If you’re not able to retrieve that information and use a hint, you assist the recall and activate that part of your brain, so the word comes to you. This is another way to exercise the brain.
RELATED: Fun Game Apps for Disabled Adults
Summary And Final Recommendations
Word games can be a powerful way to keep the brain active and healthy. Word game apps allow seniors to have their favorite games on hand without needing to look for a board game or a table to play on. And, like the best games apps for seniors, they provide mental exercise and stimulation in a fun and low-stress environment.
Their phones or mobile devices become their virtual library of games that they can play whenever and wherever they want. The games described above are just a few examples of fun and challenging word game apps that seniors can play.
Besides giving their brain cells a bit of exercise, word game apps provide opportunities to socialize online with other players.
When a senior wins a game after a friendly competition, it can give them a feeling of success. If they lose a round, it gives them an incentive to go for the next challenge. This feeds their drive to succeed, and it keeps them motivated.
Word games can direct the senior’s focus away from their problems and toward something that they enjoy. When they are engaged in something that makes them happy, it will have immeasurable positive effects on their overall health and well-being.