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The Benefits of Video Games for Seniors & Older Adults

By Kevin McClarren, 8:33 pm on

Some major criticisms of video games are that they are seen as time-wasting, mind-numbing activities that can lead the player to withdraw from social situations. While this can be true for select players who are attached to their video games 24/7, recent research indicates there are several surprising health benefits associated with gaming either online or on a gaming console. In fact, many Warren senior care and geriatric specialists are recommending that their older patients try their hand at video games to enjoy a range of benefits including improved hand/eye coordination, memory and cognition, and depending on the type of game, physical activity.

Why Video Games?

Video games require focus and skill, which engages various parts of the brain. This is one activity that can help the elder think, especially if the game is challenging. Another benefit provided by video games is the ability to multitask, something that those in retirement age may find themselves doing less of. In addition, video games are a good choice for brain training because of the diversity of activities that the senior may choose from.

Does the Type of Game Matter?

To get the most benefit from gaming, it is important to select the right type of game. Because the brain is more actively engaged when participating in learning a new skill, games that require the senior to think, interact, and build on a particular ability are more beneficial than games that highlight skills that are routine or already well known. If the senior suffers from an advanced condition such as Parkinson’s, or requires specialty assistance such as dementia or Alzheimer’s care in Warren, it will also be important to select a game that can be modified to his or her abilities.

What Are the Best Games?

There is no shortage of games available that can spark the interests of an aging loved one. Popular games among seniors include interactive sporting games such as golf or bowling, most often played on the Wii console. These particular games require physical activity, may help with balance, and can promote a senior’s cognitive functioning. Other great senior games include war games such as Halo, NASCAR and Brain Age, which may be played as one player games or can include family and friends. By making the game a group activity, seniors can also enjoy the social benefits of gaming, helping to reduce the incidence of loneliness or depression.

Video games aren’t just for the younger generation, but for individuals of all ages. Learn more about how you or an aging loved one can remain youthful and enjoy a high quality of life by contacting Home Care Assistance of Warren at 908-450-9400. We offer complimentary consultations and flexible scheduling with hourly and 24 hour home care in Warren. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a Care Manager.