Whether you’re age six or 96, playing games are more than entertaining. They challenge our minds, enhance our memory, boost our mood, reduce stress and help us connect with others. If you’re building your own senior wellness program or you’re a family member hunting for activities for seniors in your life, start with something as simple as playing games.
Research shows that “mentally stimulating activities like reading, puzzles and board games can cut your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” according to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation.
One “study found that adults who did crossword puzzles shaved up to a decade off their actual brain age when it came to cognitive function,” according to research published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. “Frequent crossword puzzle solvers had grammar reasoning skills that were up to 10 years better than their peers, and their short-term memory was eight years better.”
When older adults play games — from cards and puzzles to board games and building models — together, all that socializing offers a number of health benefits, including potentially living longer, better physical health and a lower risk of dementia. “There has been accumulating evidence that socializing is good for your brain health. People who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills,” according to Psychology Today.
Plus, enjoying hobbies and games together reduces social isolation and elderly loneliness and makes us happier. “Socializing not only staves off feelings of loneliness, but also it helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases your sense of happiness and well-being, and may even help you live longer,” according to the experts at Mayo Clinic. If you want to learn more about how important social interaction is for seniors, our blog offers insight on the risks and how to avoid them.
Given the benefits of socializing and playing games, it’s no wonder that senior living communities are popular among older adults. Communities make it easy for residents to get together for planned events as well as spontaneous games and puzzles. Luther Manor, our vibrant retirement community in Wisconsin, offers a variety of socializing and entertainment activities for seniors — from musical performances and holiday parties to shuffleboard and bocce ball.
10 brain games to try
Why not start today? Pick a game or two you like and start playing. Better yet, ask a friend to join. You’ll boost your brainpower and your happiness as well.
Want to learn more about Luther Manor’s Life Enrichment Program?
Contact us today to schedule a visit.