Playing Games: Another way to help seniors stay healthy
From Candyland to Monopoly, Go Fish to five-card stud, board games and card games have been helping us learn new skills, make new friends, and improve cognitive function since our earliest childhood memories. And those same game-playing benefits continue throughout our lives, including our senior years.
Cards and board games may even improve memory and help with age-related memory loss. In fact, recent reviews explored research on the role of games for dementia care, specifically exploring three types of games and their benefits:
● Board games can help with cognitive functions such as memory, communication, and emotional regulation.
● Video games can be customized to target different cognitive abilities, such as memory and reasoning.
● Virtual reality games can provide both cognitive and physical reinforcement, depending on the type of game.
According to the review, patients with dementia improved a variety of cognitive abilities, including short-term memory, reaction time, problem-solving, logical reasoning, and communication. So, it’s easy to see why games are such an important part of life at an assisted living facility like The Legacy in Tuscaloosa.
In addition to cognitive benefits, playing games also offers other advantages, including:
Interaction with Others – Social interactions are an important aspect in older adults’ sense of well-being, and the consistency provided by regular games and events helps prevent isolation and loneliness. Conversation and interaction with others while playing is also a fantastic opportunity to form and deepen friendships.
Overall Happiness – A side effect of playing board games is reduced stress and more happiness. Because playing board games triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals, they can improve conscious and unconscious mind functions, leaving a person feeling cheerful, compassionate, and ultimately content.
Increased Physical Activity – Certain games that require physical interaction, like virtual reality games, can help seniors improve balance, stretching, strength, coordination, and reflexes due to the quick decision-making and action required during play. Some games – like giant checkers or chess boards – combine both cognitive and physical engagement!
Multi-generational Fun – Simple games of all sorts can be a great way to connect grandparents to grandchildren, and even extend to the “great” generation beyond that. It’s not necessary to share a worldview to share some time assembling a jigsaw puzzle or playing a competitive game of hearts.
We are The Legacy
At The Legacy Assisted Living, we encourage all our residents to participate in weekly onsite games including computer Wheel of Fortune, board games like Apples 2 Apples, and plenty of regular hands of rummy. Residents have a chance to test their balance and fine motor skills with competitive games of dominoes or ping pong, too.
If you or a loved one are concerned about your ability to live independently, consider The Legacy Assisted Living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Free from the stress of maintaining a home, residents can enjoy new friends, new experiences, and new days at The Legacy Assisted Living.
Our goal is to provide a holistic, caring family environment while ensuring safety, security, and peace of mind while nurturing independence and well-being. The Legacy Assisted Living has caring staff available 24 hours a day, with a goal of personal freedom while remaining safe and active in a supportive home atmosphere. The Legacy Assisted Living is locally owned and operated with elite medical partners both onsite and off campus. Our vision is a small community environment focused on caring, family values, and supporting individual’s independence and well-being.