6 Reasons Why Word Games Must Become a Part of Seniors’ Daily Lives

Can you believe your brain receives about 30 percent of the blood pumped by your heart, although it accounts for only about 3 percent of your body weight? This shows how much attention and support it requires. It is like a spoiled, demanding child, but it is also extremely smart and efficient. And what do children adore and need the most? GAMES!

Games are a great way to stay sharp, no matter how old you are. People generally use word games as a source of entertainment. However, since they help with memory and boost seniors’ brain function, they are perfect tools to keep seniors mentally active. This article aims to provide helpful information about brain games, particularly word games, and list the most fun and productive word games for seniors to enjoy.

A group of happy seniors playing sticky head

What Are Word Games and What Do They Exactly Do?

One of our most vital organs is our brain, and just like our muscles, it needs to work out to stay strong and active. Healthy brain function is essential for kids and seniors; kids need healthy brain functioning to develop communication skills and build social interactions.

And as for seniors, they need healthy brain function for better life quality, preventing or reducing the risk of Alzheimer‘s and dementia disease. Brain games are among the best ways to maintain a healthy brain state for seniors.

Word games are a type of brain game. They entertain people while developing their language and vocabulary skills and retaining mental activity. By challenging memory capacities, word games improve short-term memory.

Benefits of Word Games for Seniors

Scientists have done several experiments on how brain games can boost cognitive function and promote memory in old ages. Evidence shows that the positive effects of brain games, particularly word games, are the following:

Infographic of Benefits of Word Games for Seniors

1. Improve Seniors Thinking and Memory

Winning boosts the self-esteem of players. It is basic psychology. Furthermore, word games play a stress-reducing role by attracting seniors’ attention and increasing their dopamine levels.

2. Improve Self-esteem and Reduce Stress

Remember the feeling of winning whenever you play! It boosts the self-esteem of players. Furthermore, word games play a stress-reducing role by attracting seniors’ attention and increasing their dopamine levels.

Can Word Games Improve Memory?

3. Promote Social Interactions

Its best to play some word games like Hangman and Rhyming ball in groups. Group games can increase social interaction among seniors. It is clear that social connections in older adults lead to less depression and enhance their life quality.

4. Reduce the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Having more social interaction and keeping the brain active are two essential factors that help prevent dementia and Alzheimer‘s. Any activities that sharpen the senior’s brain promote cognitive function and consequently lower the risk of these diseases.

5. Stimulate Learning New Information and Improve Vocabulary

Playing some word games involves telling stories and learning new words and expressions. Scientific findings have shown that learning new information (like a new language) can prevent or delay brain diseases.

6. Promote Concentration

In most games, you need an acceptable concentration level and focus on the subject to win. So playing word games that rely on your knowledge and language skills can be an excellent exercise to increase your attention span and stay focused.

Top Word Games for Seniors

The good news is that such games, apart from improving memory, can also be one of the best hobbies for seniors. Moreover, today’s technology provides new opportunities for human health from both physical and mental perspectives. Today several apps and games help with working memory that seniors can enjoy.

The top 10 word games for seniors, including both analog and app, are as follows:

  • Funnector
  • Witty Words
  • Rhyming ball
  • Hangman
  • Boggle
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Complete the saying
  • Team stories
  • Taboo
  • Peak
  • Wheel of fortune

Can Word Games Improve Memory?

Do Word Games Really Help Your Brain?

People with dementia mainly suffer from damaging their brains’ frontal and temporal parts. These two parts are responsible for decision making, critical thinking, etc.

However, there is no clear evidence that playing word games can reverse those brain damages since these games don’t affect frontal and temporal brain lobes. So, relying solely on word games to prevent the progress of dementia disease would not be enough.

As a matter of fact, the brain is a super complex organ. It comprises several parts, and the function of each part has direct or indirect effects on other parts. Both brain experts and scientists have been trying to understand its mechanism for years. Some scientists claim that brain games can increase the cognitive function of seniors’ brains.

As mentioned earlier, cognitive decline can be associated with lower mental and physical health (like diabetes and depression), impaired daily decision-making ability, and increased healthcare costs. So, engaging in any activity like brain games, especially word games that promote brain function, can be of great use.

Based on a scientific study on people aged 70-79, the higher frequency of playing word games led to less cognitive decline. In addition, there has been evidence that word games can positively affect less intrusive memories after analog trauma (Hagenaars et al., 2017).

 

Can Word Games Improve Memory?

Generally speaking, the goal of playing word games should be their stress-relieving, fun, and social interaction benefits. Playing such games purely to improve brain functions is not advisable since deeply complex crossword puzzles can impair multitasking. We mean that the brain needs to relax and recharge time during playing! So, go easy on your brain and do word games for fun and leisure, and a healthier brain function will follow as you play frequently.

Conclusion

Word games are subclasses of brain training games. There is no solid evidence that such games are helpful to boost the cognitive function of a senior’s brain. However, due to the super complex nature of human brain mechanisms, they recommend doing word/brain games for fun. 

Such games can increase seniors’ language and speaking skills and enhance social interactions. Furthermore, these games can increase brain activity, preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Several non-app and app word games are available today that seniors can enjoy.

Source homecareassistanceoakville wordfinder.yourdictionary thriveglobal
You might also like
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jack
Jack
7 months ago

It is true that some word games can prevent alzheimer’s disease or dementia. But can they slow down the process when the patient is already diagnosed with such diseases? What I mean is, can playing word games with seniors who has dementia help them in anyway?

Josephine
Josephine
Reply to  Jack
6 months ago

Yes, I believe they can. It is an excellent form of brain exercise and entertainment at the same time. In fact, some studies show that patients who play word games or engage in similar activities do better than others. 

Tommy
Tommy
7 months ago

I’m too skeptical about the whole idea of playing word games and improving memory; It’s great entertainment indeed. But I’m not sure if that works for everyone. I mean, if you have kept your mind active since childhood, you could have a better memory by playing word games. If that’s not the case, you have to work harder, like learning a second or third language or playing an instrument. Has anyone had any experience? 

mina
mina
Reply to  Tommy
7 months ago

I think this can be a factor that helps memory function. It doesn’t mean that it works for all people in an exact way or to some degree. And it is undoubtedly great if other brain activation activities like learning a new language are used alongside playing such games. 

Phoebe
Phoebe
Reply to  Tommy
6 months ago

Our brains are more complicated than we think. Even when we are not aware of it, it might be exercising. So it is not weird that playing word games can improve our brain function and memory. I’ve actually always found the concept reasonable.

Hallie
Hallie
7 months ago

I, for one, always enjoy word games. Scrabbles, boggle or the hangman. The best thing is, there are tons of word game apps, online and offline.

Julius
Julius
7 months ago

My grandkids play a fun word game called apples to apples. It includes red cards with people, places, and things, and green cards with two different descriptions. A player selects a description with a green card, and the other players must choose one from their hands of red cards. I sometimes play this game with them; it’s a great way to spend some quality time.