11 Fun Word Games for Seniors to Boost Brainpower (2022)

As cliche as it may sound, it really is helpful to think about the brain like it’s a muscle. If you want to keep your mind sharp as a tack, you’ve got to exercise it. And, you can have a great time doing it! There are lots of fun word games for seniors that are engaging and entertaining, offering a way to strengthen their mental wellbeing. A healthy brain is a great way to help maintain a healthy body too!

Free Online Word Games for Seniors

Playable virtually anywhere you’ve got a web browser, free online word games are a convenient option for seniors. If you have a harder time with smaller displays, a larger computer screen can be more accessible and enjoyable.

USA Today Daily Word Search

For decades, two of the most common pastimes have been the daily crossword puzzle and word search in the newspaper. You might sit down with your morning coffee, or perhaps over your lunch break, to work on these time-honored traditions. That ritual has since extended to the online realm too.

USA Today offers its daily word search for free via its website. Each daily puzzle, which consists of finding about 15 words, follows a unifying theme. You also have access to three hints in case you get stuck.

11 Fun Word Games for Seniors to Boost Brainpower (1)

Screenshot of USA Today Daily Word Search game

Internet Scrabble Club

Seniors eager to flaunt their word knowledge and test their strategy skills can challenge players from all around the world on the Internet Scrabble Club. This is a website for purists who love the game of Scrabble, complete with a built-in community of equally eager enthusiasts. You can expect to find thousands of players logged into the site at any given time. There’s always a game to play!

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For more information on how to get started with the website, have a look at our comprehensive article featuring Internet Scrabble Club facts. Did you know there’s a built-in rating system, as well as the opportunity to play against computer-controlled opponents?

Mahjong Words

Some of the best word games for seniors combine elements from more than one pastime. A prime example of this is Mahjong Words. Mahjong solitaire has been a popular game for years, challenging solo players to find matching pairs of tiles to clear the board. With Mahjong Words, a similar idea applies, except you must form words using letter tiles to clear them from the board.

It’s like Scrabble meets Mahjong, complete with “bingo” bonuses when you form words using seven or eight letters. And, just like Scrabble, there are “wild” tiles that you can play as any letter. A relaxed pace with just enough challenge is great for both brain training and emotional wellbeing.

Word Whomp

Word Whomp is one of those browser games that instantly captures your focus the moment you start playing. It’s been available online for a long time and continues to draw players who want to test their vocabularies.

At its core, the game has a simple premise: Spell as many words as possible using a limited set of letters, all while working under a time limit. Word Whomp is an easily accessible word game; anyone can start playing right away. And thankfully, it’s also a decent challenge. You’ll need to think fast and work your memory, which can hugely benefit your mental health.

Word Game Apps for Seniors

Older folks can enjoy mobile games just as much as their younger counterparts! In addition to offline word games for everyone, senior citizens can also benefit from “brain training” apps too. These apps are easy to figure out, and playing them can do wonders for your goal of keeping your mind sharp.


Get in your brain workout with Peak, a mobile app with a variety of brain games and puzzles “to challenge memory, language and critical thinking.” The free app sets you up with a “daily workout” of up to three games or activities, including word games. Get the monthly subscription to unlock dozens of different games and puzzles so you can try them at any time.

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Track your progress over time and peek into your “performance” across such dimensions as focus, language, memory and problem solving. Peak is available via the App Store for iPhone and the Google Play Store for Android.

11 Fun Word Games for Seniors to Boost Brainpower (2)

Screenshot of Peak Brain Game

Word Master Pro

Some people like all the pizzazz and variety of game modes in Words With Friends and Scrabble GO. Multiplayer word games can be a lot of fun. Other people may find all those extras to be distracting. If you're more like the latter and prefer a more traditional Scrabble experience, Word Master Pro might be for you.

It’s everything you’d want out of a Scrabble-like word game with none of the extra distractions. Download it on Google Android and Apple iOS devices.

Wheel of Fortune

Do you love tuning into Pat Sajak and Vanna White every evening to play along with the contestants? Enjoy the Wheel of Fortune experience from the comfort of your smartphone or tablet with the popular mobile app. The familiarity with the TV will help you learn this game quickly. Just like the game show, you spin the wheel, guess letters and solve puzzles.

What’s more, you’ll be able to unlock new rewards, compete in tournaments and even win prizes and collectibles. Play with friends and family through Facebook too. Get it on Apple iOS or Google Android devices.

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Just like Peak, Elevate provides a variety of brain training games “designed to improve attention, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, math skills and more.” The app will automatically adjust, adapting a personalized training program that’s just for you.

There are more than 35 brain games in all, complete with adaptive difficulty, a workout calendar and detailed performance tracking. The word games help to expand your vocabulary, improve your communication skills and build speaking skills -- all things that any senior would appreciate. Get it for Android or iOS.

11 Fun Word Games for Seniors to Boost Brainpower (3)

Screenshot of Elevate Brain Training Game

Offline Word Games for Senior Citizens

There’s nothing quite like the social connection of sitting around the same physical table, playing games with friends and loved ones. Many seniors may find physical board games and card games easier to play than their digital counterparts too. It also helps that there is usually at least a bit more physical activity involved than playing the digital games.


How convincing can you be when you’re lying through your teeth? In Balderdash, one player reads a question for the other players. The question might ask for the definition of a word, for example. The other players write down their answers, but these answers must be completely made up.

The original player reads out all the submitted answers, along with the real answer. Then, the other players guess which one is actually correct. If your made-up answer gets a vote, you earn a point. You also get a point for correctly guessing the right answer.

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Scrabble Slam

The rules for Scrabble Slam are simple. Instead of playing on a larger game board with 100 letter tiles to form words, you play with a deck of letter cards. Starting with a four-letter word on the table, players race to play their letter cards, replacing individual letters to form new four-letter words. Up to four players can get in on the action, and the first player to get rid of all their cards wins.

There are no “turns” in Scrabble Slam, as every player plays at the same time. This fast-paced game challenges players to think and act quickly, a great way to boost brainpower! The game has the added benefit of working on the speed and dexterity of arthritic hands.


If you’re thinking about taking your word game to the next level, quite literally, then Upwords could be a fascinating option to add to the mix. The core gameplay style is familiar in that it’s similar to Scrabble or Words With Friends board games. Place letter tiles on a board to form words.

What’s different is that you can (and should) stack your letter tiles on top of existing tiles to make new words. Earn points for every tile you play. Adjust your game strategy accordingly and stretch that brain muscle to new lengths. And heights! It’s a game that’s both familiar and new at the same time.

11 Fun Word Games for Seniors to Boost Brainpower (4)

UPWORDS Board Game

Fun Brain Training Exercises

For many seniors, fun word games and other brain training exercises are the perfect way to keep their minds sharp and engaged. Whether you’re playing on a computer, on a tablet or in-person the old-fashioned way, there’s always a game to play. For more, check out this list of places to play single-player Scrabble for free online!


Michael Kwan is a professional writer and editor with over 14 years of experience. Fueled by caffeine and WiFi, he's no stranger to word games and dad jokes.


What is the best word game for seniors? ›

Top 6 Word Games for Seniors to Enjoy
  1. Rhyming Ball. This fun word game combines fast thinking with physical coordination. ...
  2. Hangman. All it takes is a piece of paper and a pencil to play this classic guessing and spelling game. ...
  3. Complete the Saying. ...
  4. Boggle. ...
  5. Team Stories. ...
  6. Crossword Puzzles.
Mar 19, 2021

What games improve brainpower? ›

Sudoku. Sudoku is a number puzzle where you have to fill a grid with numbers 1 through 9, with each number appearing only once in a row, column, or box. This classic game makes you think critically and helps improve concentration skills.

What game can help seniors prevent memory loss? ›

Solving Sudoku puzzles is excellent for keeping seniors' minds sharp by preserving their logical thinking skills and mental abilities. Sudoku is a popular game among the elderly as it encourages them to utilise different parts of the brain they may not necessarily use in everyday life.

What game improves memory? ›

Sudoku. Sudoku is a number placement game that relies on short-term memory. To complete a Sudoku puzzle, you have to look ahead and follow trails of consequences—if you put a 6 in this box, that one must be an 8 and this one a 4, and so on. This type of planning helps improve short-term memory and concentration.

What is the best word game for brain? ›

From relieving stress to improving mental acuity, here are 5 word games that make perfect food for thought:
  • Scrabble. Good old scrabble never goes out of style. ...
  • Crossword Puzzles. Crossword puzzles are an age-old remedy for unstimulated brains. ...
  • Word Search. ...
  • Word Scramble. ...
  • Wordoku.
Jun 17, 2021

What kind of games are best for brain? ›

Studies have shown: Games can be good for the brain. Jigsaw, crosswords, and number puzzles have been found to improve cognitive function in older adults. Meanwhile, some studies have shown that board games, chess, checkers and analog games appear to help enhance the brain's processing speed and memory.

What kind of puzzles improve people's intelligence? ›

Studies have shown that doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and visual-spatial reasoning. The act of putting the pieces of a puzzle together requires concentration and improves short-term memory and problem solving.

What games help prevent dementia? ›

Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and word games are similarly beneficial for the brain; playing about 20 minutes a day can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease.

How can I increase my brain power in 7 minutes? ›

There is no surety to increase brain power in 7 minutes. But 7 hours of sound sleep can enhance your mental ability and keep you active. Memory has a close association with sleep. Studies reveal that quality sleep is essential for memory consolidation, as memory-enhancing activities occur during your sleep.

What activities stimulate the elderly? ›

6 Best Cognitive Games and Activities for Seniors
  • What Are Cognitive Skills and Why Are They Important? Cognitive skills refer to the way your brain works – how you process and recall information. ...
  • Arts and Crafts. ...
  • Trivia Games. ...
  • Puzzles. ...
  • Sudoku. ...
  • Board Games. ...
  • Socialization.
Mar 5, 2019

What can seniors do to improve memory? ›

Here are some tips:
  1. Learn a new skill.
  2. Follow a daily routine.
  3. Plan tasks, make to-do lists, and use memory tools such as calendars and notes.
  4. Put your wallet or purse, keys, phone, and glasses in the same place each day.
  5. Stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.

How do you keep old people's minds active? ›

What our customers say
  1. 1 – Engage in meaningful conversations. ...
  2. 2 – Undertake craft projects or other hobbies. ...
  3. 3 – Gardening. ...
  4. 4 – Playing an instrument. ...
  5. 5 – Take part in dancing or low-impact exercise activities. ...
  6. 6 – Provide a selection of puzzles. ...
  7. 7 – Play board and card games. ...
  8. 8 – Have a baking day.

Are there any free brain games for seniors? ›

Sudoku. Sudoku (sue-doh-koo) is an excellent free brain game for seniors that can be played just about anywhere, at any time. Sudoku can improve cognitive skills, improve your memory, and help the mind to be more sprightly.

How can I improve my concentration and memory retention? ›

  1. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. ...
  2. Stay mentally active. ...
  3. Socialize regularly. ...
  4. Get organized. ...
  5. Sleep well. ...
  6. Eat a healthy diet. ...
  7. Manage chronic conditions.

What is the most popular word game app 2022? ›

The best word game apps: 2022
  1. Wordle (Browser) ...
  2. Scrabble Go (Android, iOS) ...
  3. USA Today Crossword (Android, iOS, Browser) ...
  4. Pictoword (Android, iOS) ...
  5. Cryptogram (Android, iOS) ...
  6. SpellTower (Android, iOS) ...
  7. Wordscapes (Android, iOS) ...
  8. Word Search Puzzle (Android, iOS)
Apr 27, 2022

Do Word Games Prevent dementia? ›

What is dementia? Tackling a tricky crossword or a challenging Sudoku puzzle will not fend off age-related mental decline, new research has shown.

What are mind games examples? ›

Some examples of mind games people play are:
  • Not texting or calling back in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Playing hard to get.
  • Making someone jealous.
  • Being vague about where the relationship is going.
  • Silent treatment.

Do word games sharpen your brain? ›

Research has shown that playing word games and solving word puzzles improve cognitive function in the brain. A study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that doing such puzzles improve memory, attention, the executive function of the brain and information processing.

How do you stimulate brain activity? ›

Crossword puzzles, playing card games and learning to play a musical instrument are all great ways to boost your brainpower. Now may be the perfect time for meditating, deep breathing, practicing gratitude and journaling. Socialize regularly.

How do you sharpen cognitive skills? ›

How to Sharpen Your Brain
  1. Challenge Your Brain with Mental Exercises. One of the main ways to sharpen your mind is by doing mental exercises. ...
  2. Repeat Information. ...
  3. Read More Books. ...
  4. Engage More with People in Challenging Games. ...
  5. Make Schedules. ...
  6. Get Quality Sleep.

How do you mentally stimulate someone with dementia? ›

What kinds of brain exercises should I do?
  1. Learn something new, such as a second language or a musical instrument.
  2. Play board games with your kids or grandkids. ...
  3. Work on crossword, number, or other kinds of puzzles.
  4. Play online memory games or video games.
  5. Read, write, or sign up for local adult education classes.
Oct 16, 2020

What can slow down dementia? ›

Physical activity. Doing regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia. It's good for your heart, circulation, weight and mental wellbeing. You might find it difficult to start being more physically active, or worry it means doing an activity you don't enjoy.

How do you keep dementia patients busy? ›

Games, Puzzles, and Around the Home Activities for Dementia Patients
  1. Listen to music. “ ...
  2. Sort and match up nuts and bolts, or tighten screws. “ ...
  3. Create a memory bag. “ ...
  4. Help with clean-up around the home. “ ...
  5. Prepare food. “ ...
  6. Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
Mar 20, 2019

What are mentally stimulating activities? ›

Mental stimulation can be described as activities that help enrich your mind and improve brainpower. It could be anything — reading a book, learning a language or a musical instrument, playing brain games, or even socializing with people.

What do 80 year olds do for fun? ›

9 Best Types of Fun Activities for Older Adults
  • Active Games and Sports. ...
  • Dancing, Karaoke, and Other Performance Arts. ...
  • Parties and Other Social Gatherings. ...
  • Traditional Games and Puzzles. ...
  • Animal Interactions. ...
  • Gardening, Bird-watching, and Other Outdoor Pastimes. ...
  • Arts and Crafts. ...
  • Active Learning.
Apr 22, 2022

What are cognitive stimulating activities? ›

What is cognitive stimulation? Cognitive stimulation therapy involves a wide range of activities that aim to stimulate thinking and memory generally; activities may include discussion of past and present events and topics of interest, word games, puzzles, music and practical activities such as baking or gardening.

What are the 3 foods that fight memory loss? ›

What are the foods that fight memory loss? Berries, fish, and leafy green vegetables are 3 of the best foods that fight memory loss. There's a mountain of evidence showing they support and protect brain health.

How do you bring joy to the elderly? ›

Making time to spend with seniors — even if it that time is simply spent helping them freshen up their home, doing their laundry, sitting with them and reading, playing cards or doing a puzzle — can mean the world and really bring joy to seniors.

What is the most common mental illness in the elderly? ›

The Significance of Depression Depression, a type of mood disorder, is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults. It is associated with distress and suffering (4). It also can lead to impairments in physical, mental, and social functioning (4).

At what age is your brain the sharpest? ›

The human brain attains peak processing power and memory around age 18. After studying how intelligence changes over time, scientists found that participants in their late teens had the highest performance.

Do brain games help with memory? ›

The Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study of individuals over the age of 65 found that consistently practicing word puzzles, memory games, and visual recognition tasks improved memory in test group subjects.

Why seniors should play brain games? ›

Much like the body, keeping the brain active is important at all stages of life. Brain games and puzzles serve as mental exercise that reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. Brain exercises provide a simple way to improve your memory and problem-solving skills.

Why do I forget things instantly? ›

Forgetfulness can arise from stress, depression, lack of sleep or thyroid problems. Other causes include side effects from certain medicines, an unhealthy diet or not having enough fluids in your body (dehydration). Taking care of these underlying causes may help resolve your memory problems.

What causes forgetfulness and lack of concentration? ›

Stress, anxiety or depression can cause forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating and other problems that disrupt daily activities. Alcoholism. Chronic alcoholism can seriously impair mental abilities. Alcohol can also cause memory loss by interacting with medications.

What are 5 ways to improve your memory? ›

14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory
  1. Eat less added sugar. ...
  2. Try a fish oil supplement. ...
  3. Make time for meditation. ...
  4. Maintain a moderate weight. ...
  5. Get enough sleep. ...
  6. Practice mindfulness. ...
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation. ...
  8. Train your brain.

What is the best free word search game? ›

So, if you're looking for something enjoyable to play when you're bored, here are the best free word games to play on your phone.
The 11 Best Free Word Game Apps to Play on Android and iPhone
  • Wordscapes. ...
  • Words Crush: Hidden Themes. ...
  • Pictoword. ...
  • Wordalot. ...
  • Word Cookies. ...
  • WordWhizzle Search. ...
  • Languinis. ...
  • Wordzee!

Why word games are good for seniors? ›

Words in Words is a game that keeps seniors entertained and exercises the brain. Mind games are activities that can boost brain function, slow cognitive decline, and possibly stave off health conditions such as depression, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.

What is Boggle good for? ›

Boggle game or word search game is a game where the players link at least 3 letters with line to make a word. These activity help students improve their vocabulary especially to improve their awareness in word spelling and also help them to memorize the word they already linked.

How do you play the giant word game? ›

Learn How to Play Giant Word Winder - YouTube


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