After years of research, scientists have confirmed older adults who regularly play board and card games demonstrate enhanced cognitive function. A French study performed over a 20-year period evaluated 3,675 seniors. The study revealed older adults who played games at least once weekly reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia by up to 20 percent. Thus, family members should encourage their older loved ones to regularly enjoy playing card and board games.
Boost Short-Term Memory
Whether playing cards or a board game, seniors must pay attention and remember when to take their turns. They also need to recall the instructions for playing the games. Older adults must remember the meanings of numbers to know how many places to move game pieces or when to place cards. When playing Scrabble, older adults must remember the meanings of letters to form words correctly. The games stimulate the areas of the brain that regulate short- and long-term memory. Other games recommended for older adults include Monopoly and Uno.
A home caregiver can be a fantastic game-playing partner for your loved one. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Promote Emotional & Mental Health
Playing games with friends and family increases socialization for seniors who might otherwise live isolated lives. A lack of social activity has been shown to lead to anxiety and depression, which hampers physical, emotional, and mental health. By being in the company of loved ones, seniors gain a sense of self-appreciation and belonging. Regularly scheduled games also give seniors something to anticipate with joy. Having the opportunity to spend time with other people also diverts thought processes from negativity. While playing games, seniors typically engage in conversation with other players, which also stimulates the brain.
Enhance Mental Agility
Playing games encourages neurons to build new pathways of communication. This way, cognitive skills become stronger. Along with exercising memory, seniors stimulate strategy and problem-solving skills when they play games. Games recommended for boosting cognitive agility include chess and Trivial Pursuit.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Lincoln families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s 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.
While spending a pleasant time with loved ones, seniors have the chance to relax, which reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisone. By reducing stress hormones, heart rate and blood pressure decrease, which enhances blood flow to the brain and subsequently boosts cognitive function. Stress hormone reduction also decreases systemic inflammation, which has the potential to damage neurons. Reducing stress additionally lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease processes that hinder blood flow to the brain.
Boost the Immune System
As adults grow older, all their body systems experience a decrease in efficiency, including the immune system. By playing games regularly, seniors stimulate their prefrontal cortexes, boosting their immune systems. Playing bridge and other card games has been shown to increase the number of T-cells, which play a major role in helping the body fight infection.
If your loved one needs more mentally stimulating activities to keep his or her mind sharp, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Lincoln, CA, Home Care Assistance 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. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (916) 226-3737 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.