Sitting down and playing a board game with family and friends is at the center of many of our fondest childhood memories, but that doesn’t mean that games are only for the young! From preschool-aged children to those in seniors in their golden years, board games are a universal way to reconnect with the enjoyment of spending time with those that we love.
While the fun we get from board games is plenty of reason to make it a regular pastime, we think there are significant benefits that board games provide—especially for seniors! From cognitive benefits to physical health, the following are some of the ways that playing board games as a senior can keep you feeling young:
- Helps Memory: Losing key memory skills and succumbing to dementia is a worry for many seniors, and board games can help prevent this type of cognitive decline. By focusing on memory and cognitive associations, board games support the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain, which are two of the first areas that are affected in the early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Reduces Stress: When you recall memories of playing board games, one of the first things that likely come to mind is And laughing has some serious health benefits, regardless of your age! Enjoyable board games can cause the release of endorphins, which relax the muscles and increase circulation in the body—resulting in lowered blood pressure.
- Builds Immunity: The body’s immune system needs extra support as we age, and stress and anxiety can all contribute to compromised immunity. Luckily, research has shown that those who enjoy playing board games release neuropeptides that fight back against stress and build up the immunity of your body.
- Increases Dexterity: Simple tasks become even more difficult as we get older, and fine motor skills can be a challenge to retain as the effects of aging take their toll. However, like most things, practice makes perfect, and the more that you work on dexterity and coordination the better it becomes. Moving small game pieces and shuffling cards are both great ways for seniors to work on dexterity in a fun, relaxed way.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, nobody ever outgrows the fun of playing a board game! Between the time spent with loved ones to the laughter and the health benefits, there’s no better pastime for seniors than breaking out a board game and enjoying quality time while supporting your body.