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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.