Do Grandma and Grandpa love to get together for a card game or two? Playing board and card games with your grandparents is a great way to spend more time together and help them stay sharp and feel engaged with the family. Board games can truly enrich every family get-together.
Fun board games that bring family and friends of all ages together can improve and sharpen:
- Fine motor skills
- Attention span
- Communication skills
- Math skills
- Social skills
- Memory skills
Don't just sit around roasting chestnuts on the fire this holiday season. Add a little friendly competition to Grandma's jingle bell rocking chair with a new board or card game. We've got a variety of board and card games suitable for seniors with limited mobility. Not only can you play these games at home, but these sit-down games can also be played at:
- Senior centers
- Retirement homes
- Occupational therapy settings
How does playing board and card games help grandparents?
Playing games isn't just for children, and fitness isn’t just for the body. Mentally stimulating leisure activities are great for brain exercise. Board and card games for grandparents can alleviate certain age-related symptoms or prevent them from occurring. Studies have found that seniors who play games can lower their risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia as much as 75%.
Younger family members should encourage Grandma and Grandpa to pick up a deck of cards or start stacking the Lumpy Cubes already. Numbers, colors, shapes, and patterns stimulate brain functioning and can break up the monotony and daily grind. Word and number games like Scrabble or Monkeys Up can exercise the brain while letting Grandma show off her competitive streak.
Board and Card Games for Grandparents: Social Benefits
It’s not all education and mental activity over here. We like to play board and card games for the social aspects, too. Humans are social creatures, and the need for socialization isn’t something people ever outgrow. There are massive benefits to playing games with friends and family, no matter your age. For Grandma and Grandpa, setting up a time to play games on a regular schedule prevents isolation and loneliness, which tend to plague seniors.
The US Census Bureau has found that up to 11 million people older than age 65 live alone. As people age, the chances of them living alone increase. Indeed, living alone doesn’t always mean someone is lonely, but it can increase feelings of social isolation.
For seniors, it can be harder to get out and about and engage in social activities. Limited mobility issues and retirement often mean a loss in social contact and activity, too. Unfortunately, the consequences of isolation in seniors are dire. Loneliness in seniors puts them at risk of depression and other health risks.
Grandparents and Games: Preventing Depression and Pain
On top of that, depression can make aches and pains worse and irritate other physical health issues. Lack of social contact increases the risk of early death, according to a 2012 UK study. Alarmingly, the risk was not related to the participants' underlying health issues. Sadly, isolation in seniors has been found to worsen pre-existing health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
Of surveyed seniors, 43% have reported they feel lonely and isolated most of the time, and that loneliness harms their ability to function. When people are sad and lonely, simple tasks like bathing, dressing, and eating can be overwhelming. But having a confidant, partner, friend, or involved family can lessen the feelings and impacts of loneliness. Seniors who participate in productive social activities are generally happier, more engaged, sharper, and less likely to become depressed and sick.
Games for Grandparents: A Takeaway Message
No matter which way you cut the deck, thin to win or thick to do the trick, social activities like game playing are vital to health and happiness. For family members who are unsure of how to engage their grandparents, playing board and card games make it easy. Regularly scheduled family game nights reduce feelings of loneliness and can prevent depression while enabling people to deepen their relationships.Instead of family get-togethers where everyone looks at a screen and avoids eye contact, family members of all ages can instead have fun and bond together over board games. Board games don’t just bridge generations but foster connections and create memories that last a lifetime. This Christmas, give the gift of fun, good health, and time with a new Board Games Bundle from RoosterFin.