Most people associate video game playing with older children and teenagers, and they are often viewed as a waste of time that encourages a sedentary lifestyle and subsequent weight gain. Recent studies have shown, however, that certain skills are acquired during play that may help boost dexterity and cognitive functioning in older adults.
As a leading provider of senior care, we’re always looking for new ways to boost brain health and mental acuity for seniors and older adults (which is why we created the Cognitive Therapeutics Method), and wanted to share why you might want to think twice about video game play for your aging parent or loved one!
A researcher in San Francisco has been working for 20 years to develop games that are specifically designed to enhance specific thinking skills in seniors. He discovered that certain tasks in video games, such as tasks that require quickly tapping on a specified item, improved the visual tracking acuity in older adults.
Another study compared a group of elderly individuals who were given a fast-paced game to be played over a course of a few weeks with another group that did not participate in any game play. The test group showed an improvement in response time, memory and an ability to perform and coordinate different tasks at the same time; the control group showed no improvement in any areas of brain function. After the study, the tested adults were able to make accurate decisions up to 25 percent faster than the seniors in the control group.
Improvement in Motor Skills
In one experiment, test subjects were given games to play that involved doing repetitive actions like jumping or targeting objects. After awhile, it was discovered that the older adults not only got better at the games, but they showed an improvement in their overall motor skills.
Playing video games has been shown to increase the development of new connections in the brain that normally form when learning is occurring. The entertaining nature of games coupled with their reward systems creates an environment where the potential for improved cognitive function is promising.
Seniors who enjoy video games can also do so with their friends, family and grandchildren, making it a spirited and engaging activity that helps to foster companionship and social ties. With so many benefits, it might be time to get your aging parent or loved one a new video game console.
To learn more about senior health and ensuring quality of life for your loved one as they age, visit our website at www.homecareassistanceeldoradoco.com or contact a friendly Care Manager at 916-358-3801. Home Care Assistance is a trusted local provider of home care, offering flexible hourly and live-in care from highly trained and compassionate caregivers.