How Games Help Senior Health

If there is one thing we do well in Florida, it’s to have fun. It’s one of many reasons why Florida retirement communities offer everything from physical activities like pickleball, water aerobics and golf to group games and activities for virtually any age and ability level.

The Impact of Games on Senior Health

Florida senior living is about healthy aging, and games are at the heart of that endeavor. At Sonata Senior Living, we see games as an opportunity to socialize, prevent loneliness, and improve longevity, among other benefits. That’s because the physiological act of play is vital to relieving stress, reducing depression and anxiety, improving cognition, and most importantly, connecting with other people.

How Learning New Skills Keeps You Sharp

Any form of social interaction will yield positive emotional and physical results, according to scientists. That’s not all! The research also shows that learning new games can significantly improve cognitive ability.

Challenging your brain leads to higher mental functioning. In fact, one study found that older adults who interacted with people beyond their usual social circle of family and close friends were more likely to have higher levels of physical activity and fewer negative feelings.

In a retirement community like Sonata Senior Living, the opportunities for learning new skills while forming new friendships are extraordinary. We examined a few of the more popular games at our independent living and assisted living communities to see how they engage the mind and body.

Brain-Boosting Games For Seniors

Using your brain, laughing, and socializing all contribute to health and cognition. Laughter enhances the immune system, relieves stress and pain, and improves mood. There is some evidence to suggest that brain activity and positivity can also delay or have a preventative effect on dementia.

Card games and trivia are very popular activities in senior living communities:

  • Trivia: Trivia is a type of game in which players, either individually or on a team, are asked questions about different topics, and they must get as many correct answers as possible.
  • Mahjong: A classic Chinese game played with 136 or 144 rectangular pieces called tiles. The objective is to collect winning sets of these tiles.
  • Rummikub: Players take turns placing numbered tiles in runs or groups. Similar to Rummy, the first player to use all of their tiles wins.
  • Hand Knee and Foot: A card game where each player is dealt two sets of cards – the hand, which is played first, and the foot, which is played when the hand has been used up.
  • Lucky 7: Lucky 7 is a fast completive game of solitaire played with coasters.

Senior Games For Social Engagement

Social interaction and engagement are a byproduct of almost any game. But complex games that require more attention may not encourage as much conversation.

Some games never get old. These classic games have been around for years, and for a good reason. Games that can be played on a table, aka “tabletop games,” are fun for everyone and promote group interaction and socialization.

  • Bingo: A game in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly. The winner is the first person to mark off five numbers in a row.
  • Dominos: The object of dominoes is to score the most points by putting your tiles down in the most strategic way.
  • Scrabble: A board-and-tile game in which two to four players compete in forming words with lettered tiles on a 225-square board.
  • Puzzles: Individual pieces are joined together to form an image and offer a great way to engage and relax simultaneously. Puzzles can be adapted to accommodate an individual’s cognitive ability.

Senior Games For Mind and Body

Exercise is vital to healthy aging and longevity. It is the key to remaining active and independent as we age.

There are many reasons why Florida is the retirement capital of the world. Outdoor games are ideal for Florida’s year-round warm weather and sunny disposition.

In retirement communities, we love games that move the body and engage the mind while promoting balance, flexibility, and eye-hand coordination.

  • Wii Bowling: A fun video game where you use a controller to mimic the action of bowling.
  • Drum Fit: A fast, fun way to get mild cardio using hand-eye coordination. Participants sit and use drumsticks on exercise balls, drumming to songs.
  • Lawn Bowling: Not quite as active as indoor bowling, lawn bowling in perfect for those with limited mobility who still want to enjoy Florida’s outdoor lifestyle.
  • Pickleball: A popular sport in Florida that combines elements of ping-pong, badminton and tennis, without requiring as much strength as regular tennis.

Responding to the popularity of Florida’s growing pickleball community, Sonata Lake Mary residents will enjoy a new state-of-the-art pickleball court with no membership required!

Senior Games For Mind and Mouth

In senior living, food is so much more than a means to better health and nutrition. It is fundamental to comfort, socialization, and satisfaction of older adults. In short, food makes us happy.

It’s no wonder games and social events tend to be more enjoyable whenever food it involved. People of all ages love food. Plus, food gives us more energy to carry on having more fun!

More “activity” than “game,” these activities at Sonata Senior Living engage the senses while stimulating the mind.

  • Armchair Travel: An opportunity to learn about exotic destinations while enjoying the native foods, music and culture of the chosen country.
  • Painting with a Twist: Residents enjoy a group painting lesson where you sip a beverage or cocktail of your choice.
  • Chopstick Challenge: Racing against the clock, players must transfer the items from their food bowl to the empty bowl by using the chopsticks. The player who does this first is the winner.

Sonata Senior Living: Your Gateway to Health and Life-Enrichment

When it comes to fun, Sonata Senior Living in Florida has you covered with variety and engagement built into our lifestyles programing. Life enrichment activities incorporate games designed to stimulate the mind and body while promoting socialization, independence, health and happiness.

Schedule a visit or call to learn more about life enrichment activities at Sonata Senior Living.


Visit Sonata Senior Living and find out how personalized programming in assisted living promotes independence and well-being.