How To Choose The Best Board Games For Elderly?

Regardless of age, playing board games is good for your brain. It sharpens memory and improves mental processes such as decision making and problem solving.

These cognitive benefits are especially important for the elderly. Regularly playing board games can slow down cognitive degradation in seniors and reduces the risk of dementia or staves it off for a few years.

Board games are also a relaxing way to pass time. It can help with depression, stress and high blood pressure. In the process, it also improves dexterity, which can help seniors struggling with mobility and health problems like arthritis.

Playing board games with others is even better. In addition to all the above, it also provides plenty of social benefits that improve overall health.

In this buying guide, we recommend the best board games for the elderly that are available to buy in the UK, and give you some tips on how to choose one that you’ll enjoy.

What To Consider When Choosing a Board Game for Elderly

A. Type of Game

The type of game you get largely depends on your preferences. If you are buying a board game for an elderly friend or family member, ask them if they have any particular preferences.

If you are not sure which board game to get, go with one of the classics. Card games are popular and there are plenty of varieties available online. For seniors, Bridge is one of the best card games.

Chess is another popular classic. Each game presents a new challenge, so it never gets boring. Another great strategy game closely related to chess is GO, an ancient Chinese board game with simple rules.

For lovers of language, word games like scrabble are perfect.

Another option that you can’t go wrong with is puzzles. Puzzle board games include Sudoku for those who love numbers and Ticket to Ride for those looking for something a bit adventurous.

We recommend buying a board game that aligns with the player’s interest, hobbies or past career. For example, someone who loves ships will enjoy playing a nautical board game. A math nerd will enjoy a challenging numbers puzzle.

B. Number of Players

Most board games require more than one player. So make sure you have someone to play with. If the game is for a family member, make plans to play with them if there’s no one else they can play with.

If you can’t get a partner, look for a solo board game.

Some board games require or are more fun with more than two players. If you have several friends or neighbours you can play with, get a multiplayer board game.

C. Quality of Materials

Finally, check the quality of playing materials. They should be high quality and long lasting. Don’t get a board game with parts that break too easily or are so small that they are easy to lose.

For board games like chess, scrabble and sudoku, wooden materials are great. They look stylish and are durable.

For card games, make sure the cards are strong and don’t tear or wrinkle easily.

Best Board Games for Elderly: Top 5 Reviews

1. Andux Sudoku Puzzle Board Game

If you are looking for a numbers puzzle game, Sudoku is one of the most exciting ones to play. This Sudoku board game consists of 81 squares arranged in 3 x 3 grids. Unlike Sudoku games on paper, you don’t need a pencil to play it.

Instead, the Andux Sudoku board game comes with 81 wooden thinking tiles with digits printed on them. There’s a handy drawer to store the tiles. Just in case you lose some of the tiles, the package includes two spare tiles per number.

Like any other print or digital Sudoku game, the aim is to arrange digits (tiles, in this case) on the board such that each row, column and 3 x 3 grid has all the digits from 1 to 9.

The board game comes with a booklet consisting of 100 Sudoku puzzles, with hardness levels ranging from easy to expert. So there are plenty of challenges to keep you busy.

You can play the game solo or go up against friends or family members.

Build quality is really good. The tiles and board are made from beech wood, so you can be sure they’ll last a long time.

The only drawback is that the tiles are small. Players with arthritic fingers may have trouble picking them up.

What we like about it:

  • Good quality.
  • Comes with 100 Sudoku puzzles of varying difficulty.
  • Good for solo playing or multiple players.
  • Includes spare tiles and a handy storage drawer.

2. Jaques of London Chess Set

If you are looking for a good quality chess set, we recommend this one by Jaques of London. The Walnut and Sycamore wooden chess set not only looks great, it’s also durable. Both the inlaid chess board and the chess pieces are made from wood.

The board measures 15” wide while the pieces are 3” tall, so players with arthritic fingers should be able to easily pick and move the pieces.

The set has a smooth finish that makes it look more expensive than it really is.

Once you are done playing, store the pieces in the handy storage space. The storage is felt lined to protect the pieces, and each piece is secured by an elastic ribbon.

The board itself is foldable, making it easy to travel with it.

If this is your first time playing chess or it’s been a long time since you played, the Jaques of London chess set comes with all the rules you need to know to play the game.

Overall, the Jaques of London chess set is one of the best value chess board games you’ll find. It’s affordable but has excellent build quality and looks stylish as well.

What we like about it:

  • Very high quality.
  • Stylish design.
  • Foldable board for easy storage and portability.
  • Includes storage for the chess pieces.

3. FunnyGoo Go Chess Game Set

Go is somewhat related to chess. It has simpler rules, but because of the size of the board and the wider scope of possible moves, it is more complicated to play.

This particular Go chess set consists of a 50 x 49cm board (much bigger than a standard chess board) and 361 pieces (180 black, 181 white).

The stones are made from high quality ceramics, not plastic. They feel smooth and perfectly round in your hand.

You store the stones in two cans. Even the cans are exceptionally made and very durable. They have an iron core with a soft hand-woven exterior.

The only component that we think could be better is the playing board. It’s actually not a hard board; rather, it’s a cloth. We highly recommend mounting it on a hard board for a better playing experience and to ensure it lasts longer.

What we like about it:

  • High quality pieces.
  • Comes with two beautiful metal storage cans.
  • Suitable for beginners as well as advanced players.

4. Jaques of London Bridge Set

If you are shopping for a good and easy to play card game, Bridge is a great choice. Unlike most card games that have a big element of luck, Bridge is mostly about skills. It sharpens mental acuity and has been found to improve memory.

There’s also the social aspect. Since it is a multiplayer game, Bridge is a great way to spend time with friends.

Jaques of London sells one of the best Bridge game sets around. It’s affordable, but the quality is good, similar to their other games.

The package includes two packs of cards. Each card has a plastic coating to protect it from moisture damage and tearing. You also get a score block and four Jaques branded pencils, though some users say the pencils are too small to comfortably use especially for people with arthritis.

The entire set is packaged inside a beautiful mahogany box with a brass lock. It makes for a great gift.

What we like about it:

  • Good quality.
  • Comes in a beautiful mahogany case.
  • Affordable price.

5. Movie Stars Memory Lane

This one is a bit different. It’s not exactly a board game, but it has most of the same benefits as a board game especially for people with memory loss or dementia.

Movie Stars Memory Lane is a large print book with 32 pages filled with photos of movie stars from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Each photo is accompanied by short descriptions.

The aim of the book is to trigger long term memories and provide an opportunity for social interaction with friends and family members.

The book includes photos of action stars, child stars and famous comedians, though many customers were disappointed that they are all black and white images.

If you or an elderly family loved watching movies and shows when they were younger, this is a great gift.

One thing we love is that it doesn’t mention memory loss or dementia anywhere, so it won’t cause any embarrassment. The writing is simple but not childish.

What we like about it:

  • Improves long term memory in seniors with memory loss or dementia.
  • Great for social interactions.
  • Large print that’s easy to read.

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