The best memory exercises for seniors

Without the regular routine and challenge of work, you might find yourself becoming a tad forgetful in your retirement years. Don’t panic - memory loss is a normal part of aging, and it’s not an irreversible process! There are loads of ways that you can boost your brain power, while having a ton of fun in the process.

Want to enjoy the memory of an elephant? Find out some of the best memory exercises for the elderly to get started.

Memory exercises for older adults:

  • Word puzzles
  • Learning an instrument
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Bingo
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Sudoku
  • Chess

Word Puzzles

When it comes to games that can improve your memory, word puzzles are tough to beat. Word games like crosswords, scrabble and word searches strengthen your memory retention and logical reasoning by encouraging you to make connections between words. The small success of putting a word in the right place also releases dopamine in your brain that makes you feel more happy and relaxed. You can do them in your spare time, on your commute into town, or just before bed.

Learning an instrument

If you really want to put your brain to the test, pick up a new instrument and start playing! Learning the rhythms and notes of a new instrument is about as challenging as it gets, and helps to enhance your memory as you get older. From meeting new people to relieving stress, there are plenty of benefits to learning an instrument.

Arts and Crafts

Producing a piece of art can be a form of therapy that relaxes your mind, and keeps your brain active. This is because creating art stimulates your brain, stirs up your emotions, and can even help you recall old memories. Studies show that engaging with your creative side can even help prevent long-term memory loss and conditions like dementia. As well as giving you a strong sense of purpose, doing some arts and crafts is one of the most productive things you can do with your spare time.


Playing bingo is perhaps best known as a fun group activity that you can play amongst friends, and win prizes. But less well known is the huge benefits it has for your brain and memory retention! Bingo is a game where you have to be careful and listen out for certain numbers, while keeping track of numbers you’ve already ticked off. Pick up your bingo cards and you’ll be boosting your concentration and cognitive skills in no time.

Jigsaw Puzzles

You might just see jigsaw puzzles as a fun activity for kids, but did you know they were also great for your brain? Jigsaws are one of the best short term memory exercises for adults, as they require you to remember which piece goes where, and to get your thinking cap on to solve a problem. You can find all kinds of jigsaw puzzles - the more complex they are, the more your brain gets tested.


Want a way to expand your brain power in a fun yet challenging way? Look no further than a game of sudoku. Encouraging you to problem solve and look out for specific number patterns, sudoku is a real test of your memory and concentration skills. Best of all, the feeling of finally completing a tricky sudoku puzzle is truly rewarding.


Chess is a game that encourages you to think 3 steps ahead of your opponent, making it a great way to boost your brain power. Whether you play online or meet friends at a park, chess is a competitive game that gets you thinking on your feet. Combining strategy with creative thinking, it’s also a lot of fun to play.

If you want to keep your mind and body active after retirement, Churchill Retirement Living has got you covered. Our retirement apartments across the country have chess, jigsaw, bridge and knitting clubs for you to keep your brain ticking in your retirement years.