There are benefits to playing an old-fashioned board game. From the very young to the very old, the benefits of play are significant components of social interaction and improving mental acuity. When caring for an elderly loved one, BrightStar Care, leaders in home care in Orlando, share some thoughts on board game play. The top board games for the elderly are those that will keep the mind engaged and can perhaps reduce the rate of cognitive function decline in those that are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Playing games can help to maintain and possibly improve the response time for your elderly loved one in being able to recall items in short-term memory. The brain is a muscle that must be exercised regularly to remain in its best operating function. Some seniors enjoy playing video games or using their computers for brain-stimulating games such as solitaire and word games.
While there are times when playing on the computer alone is acceptable, there is something much more satisfying for everyone when your aging loved one is engaged with other family members in play. Board game play promotes social interaction and laughter which, in turn, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. When we laugh, endorphins are released, and this release helps muscles relax promoting better circulation and reduction in blood pressure. For seniors, this is very important to memory health.
Here are a few of the top board games that your elderly loved one might enjoy playing:
- Checkers – This is a childhood favorite that requires strategy and can help maintain dexterity.
- Scrabble – Word retrieval, spelling, fine motor skills, and patience are an important part of playing Scrabble.
- Chess – Chess is a board game that requires thinking ahead and memory. Since the chess pieces all have different functions and move differently, the brain is simultaneously engaged in exercising several skill sets.
- Card Games – Whether playing Solitaire, Go Fish, War, or Bridge, card games provide many opportunities for interactive fun. If your elderly loved one has difficulty holding cards, there are several devices on the market to assist with holding cards that are inexpensive and easy to manipulate. If eyesight is a problem, there are large print cards on the market as well.
Whether your elderly loved one is living at home or is in a skilled nursing facility, encourage them to play board games. BrightStar Care, a provider of home care in Orlando, knows that game play is an important component of helping seniors remain socially active while keeping brain function stimulated and engaged. Call us at 407-877-0720. BrightStar Care is ready to help.