Having extra time can sometimes feel like a luxury, and other times like a burden.
Free-time can be difficult for some seniors to adjust to, having been busy with work, family, and other roles all through their lives, an abundance of leisure time can feel disorienting.
Many seniors grapple with the notion of productivity, and what counts as a productive use of time and energy when the days spread out before them are completely in their own hands. It can be difficult to adjust to thinking about activities and hobbies that have always felt like a luxury amidst the hustle and bustle of a busy life as good uses of time throughout the day. The reality is, however, that many of these hobbies, activities, and games are productive and helpful for promoting mental wellbeing and brain health in ways that seniors can feel good about.
Playing games, for example, may once have seemed only like a leisure activity to be reserved for times when everything on the to-do list had been checked off, but these games can actually play a role in helping to keep seniors’ minds fit and healthy, and their spirits lifted.
Why Games are Great
Apart from the simple fact that games can be a fun activity for seniors to enjoy, there are other benefits to seniors’ health and wellbeing that can be reaped through playing different kinds of games.
First of all, games are excellent for exercising the brain and keeping the mind fit and healthy. Depending on the types of games involved, seniors can make use of different ways of thinking, can explore new thought processes, and can learn new skills. Cognitive training helps to build new connections in the brain that can help seniors as they move forward and continue to age. Exercising and stimulating the brain is just as important for seniors and working their bodies.
Games can also create an invaluable opportunity for socialization that can be deeply valuable for seniors. Isolation can be a major concern for adults in older age, but coming together with friends or family members to play a game can be an engaging social opportunity that helps seniors feel connected.
Games to Try
The list of games available these days is unending, with genres and types to meet any interest or skill level. The following are some different categories of games that seniors can explore and enjoy as they integrate games into their lives as a form of mental exercise and as a tool for relationship building.
- Word Games
- Number Games
- Card Games
- Strategy Games
- Video Games
- Family Games
- Dexterity Games
- Cooperative Games
- Roll and Move Games
- Solo Games
- Physical Games
There are, in essence, enough games to choose from to interest any senior, no matter what they are interested in or what type of exercise they want to give their brains.
As previously mentioned, one of the great benefits of playing games is that, while some games can be played alone, there are so many opportunities to play with a partner or with a group. Arranging game night with family members and friends at home can be a great way to get people over for a visit and a catch up, but for seniors who want to get out of the house or want an opportunity to meet new people through games, there are various groups and clubs available that create an opportunity for seniors to build new relationships as they strengthen their minds and try new games every time they go out.
Games are fun to play, but they can also be so much more than that. Seniors can start prioritizing this kind of play as an activity that promotes wellbeing through cognitive training, exploration of new skills and interests, and social bonding.