Board Games Do More Than Keep You From Being Bored

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date April 01, 2019

Are board games and decks of cards collecting dust on your shelves? Don’t wait for the kids and grandkids to come around before searching out the Scrabble and Monopoly! From preschool-aged children to seniors in their golden years, people of all ages can enjoy and benefit from the intergenerational activity of playing games.

While the fun we get from board games is plenty of reason to make it a regular pastime, there are significant positive effects board games provide for our physical and mental health. Below are the top four reasons we’re dealing cards with new and old friends at Kirkwood by the River.

  1. Increases Social Interaction: Did you know? Senior isolationism is one of the largest epidemics facing senior-aged adults today. Getting together with friends keeps us active, engaged, and inspired, and playing a game is a great excuse to get out to meet new people! Reducing feelings of isolation and depression also boost self-confidence. Card games like Bridge and Hand and Foot where the games are played in pairs can also promote empathy, compassion and trust in others.


  1. Helps Improve Cognitive Ability: Engaging in something as simple as playing a game can improve problem-solving skills and work the “muscles” that help us to learn, remember, and pay attention. By focusing on memory and cognitive associations, board games help to prevent the cognitive decline associated with memory loss and dementia.


  1. Reduces Stress and Lowers Blood Pressure: Laughing with friends and enjoying yourself is a wonderful way to lower your blood pressure! Lowering blood pressure reduces the associated risk of artery damage, heart disease and stroke.


  1. Increases Dexterity: As we age, simple tasks become more and more difficult. But the more that you work on dexterity and coordination, the better it becomes. Shuffling and dealing cards, moving game pieces, tossing bean bags, rolling dice are all fun and relaxing ways to work on fine motor skills.


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents