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Brain Boost: Video Games for Seniors

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on

Although video games have traditionally been seen as child’s play, researchers are now finding a plethora of benefits experienced by senior citizens who play video games. Seniors who play exciting strategy games, either alone or with others, are showing improvements in memory, cognitive function, and physical fitness levels. The Placer County home care experts at Home Care Assistance have come up with a few of the most senior-friendly games available today.

Wii Sports
Wii  games are some of the best options for getting seniors active again, or helping seniors maintain an active lifestyle when the weather doesn’t permit leaving home. Wii Sports has dozens of activities to choose from, including bowling, golf, tennis, baseball, and boxing, and is an excellent way for your senior loved one to interact with other family or friends. Invite others over and hold a Wii Sports tournament your senior loved one can compete in. This suite of physically engaging activities has been shown to increase heart rate and improve motor skills among seniors who play regularly.

Rise of Nations
This real-time game of strategy helps heighten seniors’ critical cognitive functions. Rise of Nations is a computer game featuring 18 civilizations that are playable during eight different periods of world history. During the game, players must focus on making allies, and acquiring and retaining their civilization’s territories. A study done in 2008 showed seniors who played this computer game were better at switching between tasks and experienced improved working memory.

Brain Age
There are some video games specifically tailored to improve concentration through fun, play-based training, like Brain Age on Nintendo DS. Activities in this game include fun math puzzles, short-term memory tests, and reading quizzes. Players are assigned rankings based on their performances and can compete with friends and family.

If your budget can afford it, pick up a few games (maybe as a holiday or birthday gift) and help your elderly loved one stay mentally acute and physically active as they age. Another great way to be sure your loved one is getting the activity and care they need is to hire a caregiver in Placer County who can assist with daily tasks, like preparing healthy meals or taking walks through the neighborhood. Home Care Assistance believes in ongoing training for its caregivers to ensure they are up-to-date on the best care practices, and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call (916) 226-3737 to speak with a Care Manager today and schedule your free in-home consultation.

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