Can you believe games provide a 23 percent gain over traditional learning? Find any gamer, and they’ll testify to this.
Games are for everyone to enjoy, regardless of age. They are the means to relieve our stress by providing a fun and exciting challenge. Studies confirm some games positively impact the elderly psyche and communication.
But when we talk about games’ benefits, what do we mean, and what kind of games are we talking about? Excessive gaming is dangerous for all ages, but some studies show that selecting suitable games for the elderly can positively affect their mentality and well-being. This article will go through some of the benefits of playing games for older adults.
Improving the Speed of Reaction
As people age, their reaction pace usually decreases. This reduction in reaction speed can be dangerous in some situations, such as driving. Studies show that games that require quick decision-making and reaction in a short time can, to some extent, improve the rate of response of older adults. Playing games can improve reaction speed, requiring quick decision-making and rapid reflexes. Video games such as first-person shooters or racing games can help improve hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and processing speed, as players need to respond quickly to stimuli on the screen. Similarly, sports games like basketball or soccer can improve reaction time and reflexes as players need to react quickly to the movements of their opponents. Playing games that require quick thinking and fast responses can train the brain to process information more rapidly and react faster to different stimuli.
Improving Cognitive Abilities
Some games can help seniors improve their cognitive abilities, such as judgment, decision-making, and memory. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois shows that strategic computer games can help strengthen critical thinking for seniors.
Due to the rapid growth of new technologies, especially the rapid changes in mobile phones, many older people do not feel good about these changes and do not have enough confidence to use these technologies. Studies show that playing with mobile phones can improve the elderly’s mood when using new phones and reduce their inability to cope with new technologies.
While we grow up, we sometimes forget that our parents are also growing old. Various goals of the family members lead them in different directions. Games can be a perfect way to spend time together. We can think of the time spent on games as quality time and a priceless gift.
Feel Closer to the New Generation
We have all heard about the phenomenon of the generation gap.
A generation gap can describe the differences in thoughts, actions, and tastes exhibited by members of younger generations versus older ones. Some studies indicate that playing games can help reduce this gap since it enables the elderly to have a common source of interest to share with young people.
Improving Mood and Reducing Depression
The mobility of the elderly is more limited than that of younger people. That causes them to become bored, especially during the fall and winter seasons. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that older people who played computer games were happier and experienced fewer depressive symptoms. Another study by researchers at the University of California shows that even some computer games help treat depression in old age.
Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Studies by University of California researchers show that games that improve seniors’ cognitive abilities may help prevent Alzheimer’s. Of course, note that not every game can have such an effect, but we should wisely choose the game.
Improving Immune System
Games are usually linked to positive feelings, such as entertainment and laughter. Research shows that the pleasure created by games can improve immunity by releasing specific chemicals. These chemicals can work against stress and improve the immune system’s functioning in the senior’s body.
Reducing Blood Pressure
As said earlier, games can make you entertained and laugh. Laughter produces endorphin, which is responsible for the feeling of happiness. This chemical reduces the muscles’ tensions and enables blood to circulate better in the veins, leading to lower blood pressure, one of the most common conditions they may suffer.
Best Games For Seniors
But the question that might arise at this point is what kind of games can be suitable for the elderly?
There are various games available that people in any age group can enjoy. Games divide into two categories of indoor and outdoor games.
Most of us might think that only indoor games are suitable for older people, but we have to admit that there are many outdoor games available that seniors would adore. The benefits of outdoor games are endless, and the most important benefit is the social advantage. Outdoor games enable older adults to see their peers while playing a game and prevent isolation and loneliness.
Among the best outdoor games available for the elderly one can mention darts, minigolf, bocce, croquet, and shuffleboard, which improve their mobility and visual skills. Since these games need a bit of physical activity, they can increase the heart rate and maintain physical health.
Along with outdoor games, there are various beneficial indoor games for seniors. Some people may not be able to go out due to their physical limitations. That is where technology can enter to rescue and provide entertainment. Below are some indoor games suitable for older people:
This game is available in different versions. Apart from entertainment, this game can keep people’s minds active and strengthen some cognitive abilities. Various magazines provide entertaining Sudokus. They can also enjoy this game on their phones or tablets.
Whether word-building with a group of letters or word-guessing based on a few clues, this game is top-rated among seniors. Strengthening cognitive abilities such as reasoning, memory, and entertainment are some of these games’ benefits. These games can also create an engaging environment at home where the members gather to guess the word and reduce loneliness.
Building Blocks or Tetris
Success in these games is highly dependent on the speed of action in people. In addition to improving response speed, this game enhances some cognitive abilities.
In addition to increasing some of your cognitive abilities, these games are an excellent exercise to keep focused on a task for a long time. Having people focus on an activity several times to complete a puzzle and continue it is a useful cognitive exercise for older adults. Puzzles are challenging to do alone, and they also create an opportunity for cooperation among the family members.
Many online games are designed for multiple players. These games create a chance for all family members to compete in a challenge. Thanks to the advances in games, several games, such as card games, backgammon, chess, etc., are available online and enable the elderly to play with the PC or play with a known rival.
Speaking of online games, give Funnector a try. It’s a simple game that you can play on your phone or tablet and ask your grandchildren to playback; as they say, fun connects!
Aging is a process that engenders a sense of loneliness in people. Most of the time, the children have already left their parents, or one of the spouses has passed away. That’s where games come to the rescue. Games enable us to challenge our cognitive ability and socialize. Games can provide entertainment and have different benefits for seniors, such as reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
Now it is time to dust off the board games on top of your cupboard and put them into use. Let others know of your favourite game in the comment section.