How Playing Games Can Boost an Aging Adult’s Brain Health

One of the best ways to promote a senior loved one’s mental and emotional wellness is by playing games. Studies have shown elderly people who regularly partake in activities that stimulate the brain have increased cognitive function, memory, and learning abilities. Typically, they retain these capabilities better and longer than those who don’t regularly stimulate their minds. Here are just a few ways your loved one may benefit from regular participation in games.

Better Short-Term Memory 

One great benefit of playing games is the chance to use short-term memory. Remembering whose turn it is, what the instructions say a turn should involve, and what’s required to win are all exercises for the short-term memory. 

For seniors, short-term memory is one of the first types of memory to see the effects of aging. Forgetting names of casual acquaintances and where keys were left are common examples of short-term memory failures. The stimulation games offer can boost cognitive health and keep short-term memory healthy. Games good for reducing forgetfulness are ones that repeat a range of behaviors, such as Uno and Monopoly. 

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful game-playing partner for your parent. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care, a senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Reduced Risk of Dementia 

Many seniors have normal memory loss related to aging, but developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is quite different, and the symptoms are progressively severe. Luckily, studies are showing some activities significantly reduce the likelihood of developing dementia. One study with 20 years of follow-up showed a 15 percent lower rate of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in elderly people who played games at least once a week. Further, the study suggested any type of game is equally effective, meaning your loved one can enjoy his or her favorite game and still benefit from it. 

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Oshkosh families can rely on Senior Stride Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Greater Emotional Stability 

Elderly people who play games also tend to have a reduced risk of depression and report an overall higher quality of life. Emotional health is related to the brain and is extremely important to your loved one’s wellbeing. 

Seniors often experience major life changes that can be difficult to accept and lead to a sense of sadness and anxiety. However, playing a game is an enjoyable activity that can give your loved one a chance to partake in something fun with other people. 

Focusing on the enjoyment of looking forward to a game can also ward off negativity. Any game your loved one takes joy in playing is good for increasing emotional stability. Consider old family favorites as well as new games.

Increased Mental Agility 

Playing games, especially if your loved one plays a variety of them, can promote mental agility and help his or her brain develop new neural pathways. When the brain becomes more agile, it’s able to think in new ways and become stronger, boosting the way a person thinks, remembers, and learns new skills. The best games for increasing mental agility are ones that invoke many different ways of thinking, such as chess and Trivial Pursuit. 

If your loved one needs more mentally stimulating activities to keep his or her mind sharp, reach out to Senior Stride Home Care. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Senior Stride Home Care can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at 920-717-1767 today.

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