Playing card and board games can be fun and enjoyable for people of all ages, including seniors. For the elderly, games of this nature could also provide an added cognitive boost. Here are five reasons your senior loved one may benefit from increased cognition by regularly playing card and/or board games with family members, friends, and anybody else wishing to participate.
1. Help with Memory Formation & Recall
A major part of cognition involves the ability to form and retain new memories. By regularly playing favorite card and board games, seniors can create meaningful memories in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, the parts of the brain largely responsible for memory formation and retention. Also, games your loved one fondly remembers from his or her earlier years can boost recall and memory retention by triggering past memories. Plus, the act of bringing back older memories helps the brain recall and retain newer ones.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure & Reduces Dementia Risk
High blood pressure has been associated with the risk of developing dementia. Since card and board games are typically relaxing, they may help seniors with hypertension lower their blood pressure to normal levels. This can boost cognitive health while reducing the risk of dementia.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Palm Desert 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.
3. Increases Mental Focus
Whether players are required to recall other players’ hands, keep track of spaces moved, or form words with letters, card and board games give seniors something to focus on. The various aspects of game play are related to cognition because they involve concentration. There’s also a need to complete various tasks by remaining alert and staying focused on the present moment.
4. Reduces Stress
The HeartMath Institute cites research suggesting a link between cognitive decline and stress. However, in an online survey, more than half of all respondents reported playing basic board and card games to relax. Help your loved one remain stress-free and relaxed while playing these types of games by:
• Clearly explaining how to play a specific game
• Not getting overly competitive
• Making appropriate modifications if some of the steps/rules are a bit confusing
• Creating a comfortable seating arrangement with access to healthy snacks
• Taking breaks if games last longer than expected
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 homecare services. 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.
5. Boosts the Release of Brain-Friendly Chemicals
Card and board games can certainly result in laughter and an all-around good time for everyone participating. This abundance of happiness triggers the release of hormones in the brain that include endorphins, or so-called “feel-good” hormones that naturally boost mood. Endorphins also act as neurotransmitters that play a role in the transmission of signals within the nervous system. Keeping this process as efficient as possible can help the parts of the brain responsible for cognitive abilities function well.
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 24-hour care, Palm Desert, 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. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (760) 345-0001 to learn more about our customized care plans.