Games At Home to Stimulate Psychomotor Skills in the Elderly

Ageing is a long period of physical and emotional changes that require a progressive adaptation process. Taking early action against the deterioration of functional and sensory abilities is essential to ensure the quality of life in old age. In this context, psychomotor work with older people has much to contribute.

What Is Geriatric Psychomotor Skills?

The concept of psychomotor skills refers to a double reality. On the one hand, it encompasses all those aspects related to motor function, such as the skills linked to body movement. It also encompasses aspects that have a clear cognitive (aptitudes) and socio-affective (feelings and behaviours) component.

This discipline is in charge of establishing links between these aspects. From this perspective, movement is not only a mechanical activity but a variable that significantly influences the way of perceiving reality and integrating oneself into it. From a technical point of view, it is situated within the disciplines of Occupational Therapy and addresses the physical and cognitive deterioration of the elderly in a multidisciplinary way.

Psychomotor work in the elderly: objectives and benefits

Psychomotor activity in the elderly has well-defined objectives:

• To become aware of one's own body (proprioception) and its changes

• To improve skills such as balance, strength and coordination

• To reduce physical and emotional tension

• To improve breathing

• To promote the individual's motor development as well as the control of involuntary movements

• To offer tools to adapt to daily routines, overcoming the limitations imposed by ageing

• Improve the quality of life, social relationships, and mood

In essence, what psychomotricity promotes are certain changes in psychic activity through movement. Not surprisingly, apart from the biological and neurological disorders associated with ageing, older people are also affected by psychomotor aspects. Some of the most common examples are poor spatial-temporal orientation, stiffness and motor clumsiness, sensory deficit or feelings of anxiety, apathy and irritability that can result from these changes. Good work routines in the field of psychomotor skills will soon be reflected in great benefits for the child.

How to work on psychomotor skills in the elderly without leaving home?

One of the great advantages of psychomotor work with the elderly is that no special facilities or materials are required. The exercises for the promotion of psychomotor skills can be carried out at home with the intervention of an occupational therapist, a professional home carer or a family member with basic knowledge of this discipline.

Although it is true that the social aspect is particularly relevant, not all older adults are in a position to go to a centre to carry out these work sessions. On the other hand, the pandemic has imposed new limitations, but there are always alternatives to stimulate psychomotor skills at home with very good results.

Activities and games to promote psychomotor skills in the elderly Gentle gymnastics

Through simple exercises such as raising the limbs, rotating the joints or pretending to write words in the air for the caregiver to guess them, important aspects such as dynamic coordination, the body scheme and flexibility are worked on.


This is a very complete physical and time-structuring exercise. The rhythm imposes new nuances on the movement, which, together with the gentle oscillations and small movements, improve the proprioception of the elderly. You can include games for motor control, such as standing still when the music stops.

Board games

Any board game is a good excuse to work on memory, social skills, decision-making and communication. From something as simple as Parcheesi to complicated games such as chess or dynamic family games, such as those based on mime and body language, any of them explores the advantages of psychomotor training from a more playful perspective.

Activities with pets

Animal-assisted therapies are becoming increasingly common. The ideal is to practice outdoor activities, but if you have to stay at home, something as simple as brushing their fur can work on strength and coordination, reduce stress and promote positive feelings.


Colours, textures, shapes and sizes. All the variables of the materials used in handicrafts stimulate the senses. Make the most of them to keep minds active with cut-outs, decorative items for special occasions or small objects to give to friends and family.

DIY workshops

This is an ideal activity to do with a group of family and friends. Make things together. It allows you to share emotions, laugh, be creative and build lasting memories together that you can take home as a souvenir of the special day spent together.

Yoga and Tai Chi

The most traditional forms of exercise offer an opportunity to do stretching and breathing exercises in a meditative state. They improve concentration and self-esteem, reduce stress and promote mental health, and encourage the practice of other activities.


Meditation is not just for Buddhists anymore. Although it has been practised for thousands of years for its beneficial effects on the mind -such as relaxation, self-awareness, concentration-it offers benefits for physical health as well. If you are a beginner, we recommend starting with a guided meditation. If you're more advanced, you could even consider making your own guided meditation using online apps or your smartphone voice recorder.

Thermal baths and therapeutic massage

These are perfect ways to help reduce stress, improve blood flow and relax muscles. In addition, they reduce anxiety and depression as well as improve sleep. You can also consider going to the sauna or spa once a week to have a spa treatment such as a facial or massage. Don't forget to tag your elderly loved one along.


Keeping your loved ones happy and healthy is something that you should certainly not neglect as they are likely to become your most valuable assets. Even in old age, they have the ability to have a positive impact on your life and to make your days brighter as you spend time with them.

Aging at home instead of in a home care