Game on! The best board games for older people

With National Scrabble Day (April 13th) approaching, here at Barchester we’re dusting off our letter boards and dusting off the dice to celebrate the mental and social benefits of playing board games.

Board games are a perfect excuse to get with your friends or loved ones and make great memories together. As well as being a fun and engaging social experience, they can also stimulate the mind. This makes them a great alternative to more isolating activities such as watching TV, going online or playing a game on your digital device.

Board games are a popular past time at our Barchester homes. Many of our games have adapted pieces to accommodate a wide range of capacities, including larger board pieces and cards, colourful die, and sound support, so everyone can play along.

Here are our favourite board games for getting the whole family together:

Getting to Know Me

Designed for the people we care for in mind, Getting to Know Me follows a similar concept to Snakes and Ladders but is built around questions. Making new friends as an adult can be a challenge but Getting to Know Me creates an open and fun space to do just that. Players take turns to ask questions or share memories and it's been particularly useful for residents that have dementia or memory problems in helping them connect with their family and other residents.

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders has been a firm family favourite for years and for good reason. New players shouldn't be fooled by its classic format, as any experienced participant will know that to win is just a roll of the die. There are big-print versions of the game available at our Barchester homes, so the whole family is able to join in the fun.


Okay, so technically there's no board involved - but addictive UNO doesn't fall into the card game category either. The simple premise and bright colours make it suitable whether you are seven or 77, and it's incredibly fun to play. The fast-paced style of UNO encourages alertness, fast reflexes, and attention-to-detail.


The older people in your family will likely be leading the way with Draughts, as most people will remember playing it as a child. Although it only requires two players, as a strategy game it can be just as fun to watch as to play. It's also quite quick to set-up and play, so you shouldn't be waiting too long for your turn. Why not start a family tournament? There are a whole host of different game variations to choose from, including one with easy-to-pick-up counters.

National Scrabble Day

To celebrate this years’ National Scrabble Day many of our Barchester homes will be participating in mini scrabble tournaments to find out who has the sharpest wordplay. To find out if your local home are participating this year, or what games our Barchester homes enjoy do feel free to get in touch with the home directly.

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