Researchers have confirmed that there are a number of ways that playing video games can benefit seniors. Here are a few examples how:
They keep the mind sharp
Studies have shown that when we learn to play new games, new synapses form between the neurons in our brains. These new connections can then be applied to other tasks as well. Research also shows that concentrating on video games can even help train our brains to focus better.
They can provide good exercise
Game consoles like the Nintendo Wii, the PlayStation Move and the Xbox Kinect have motion detectors that allow players to engage their bodies while playing video games. The games played on these consoles provide a fun way for seniors to get some light exercise. Many nursing homes and rehabilitation centers are even using active video games for patients’ physical therapy routines to help them stay active and regain coordination.
Healthy competition builds self-esteem
Many seniors may find great social and emotional value in video games. Video games provide a way for seniors to set goals for themselves and can bring about a great sense of accomplishment when they achieve them. This can help lift spirits and boost self-esteem.
The whole family can play
Playing video games is an activity that the whole family can get involved in. A family-wide Wii Bowling tournament or a night of Rock Band or Mario Party could be a great way for everyone to bond and relax together. These multiplayer games are simple enough for all ages and are designed to allow large groups to play at once, so everyone will spend less time waiting to take turns and no one will feel excluded.
So next time you’re looking for a fun activity to do with your loved one, hand them a controller and help them stay active, happy, and mentally sharp!