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3 Benefits of Playing Games as a Senior

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3 Benefits of Playing Games as a Senior

Whether you're alone in your apartment at Autumn View Gardens or out with friends and family, playing games is a fun way to pass the time and enjoy visits.

People of all ages can find joy in games, and for seniors, games are an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

1. Increased Memory and Focus

As you age, your memory and focus can begin to degrade due to the aging process, but some of these effects can be prevented by consistently using your brain. Playing games is an enjoyable way to achieve this. Activities that require focus can help exercise your brain and keep it on its toes.

Some games that specifically improve memory and focus:

Sudoku and crosswords

Board games of all types

Chess and checkers

Card games, such as Rummy or Solitaire

Board games don’t just have a positive benefit for general cognitive functions in older years, either. According to research, regularly engaging in games with friends through the years results in a 15 percent decrease in the risks of dementia. So, these are great habits to encourage in your younger friends and family, too, adding more importance to family get togethers and game nights.

2. Connecting with Friends and Family

Sitting around a table in the common areas at Autumn View Gardens, playing cards or your favorite board game, is a great way to maintain relationships. Games can start interesting conversations or just have you and your loved ones laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

Though it’s usually preferable to spend time in person, this isn’t always possible, which makes online games, such as online card games or Words with Friends, a great way to stay connected with family that doesn’t live close enough for regular visits.

Games can also help you make new friends. Joining a domino or card game is a lot easier than trying to walk up to new people and start a conversation on the fly.

3. Reduces Stress

Even in the golden years, life isn’t always sunshine and roses, which is why it’s important to make time for simple distractions. Playing games is an easy way to get your mind off problems and take a moment to catch your breath.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause fatigue and lead to angry outbursts or social withdrawal. Stress is bad for you mentally and physically, so managing it is very important — especially as you age and health risks become a greater concern.

Having fun, especially with friends, releases chemicals in your brain that relieve stress and can even help reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. Playing games regularly can make you happier and healthier.

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