5 Major Benefits of Playing Video Games Later in Life

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Most people think of video games as a distraction for kids and young adults, and many would argue these games offer zero benefits for anyone. However, research is proving video games can actually be a healthy pastime for people over 65. Here are some of the top benefits video games offer the elderly. 


1. Prevents Falls

Falls can be especially devastating for seniors because they have a much higher risk of breaking bones. With the right attachments and add-ons, many video games can enhance a senior’s balance in a safe and controlled environment. For instance, the Nintendo Wii Balance Board is a small device that monitors a player’s movements when he or she is standing on it. 

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare. Trust Assisting Hands Home Care to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.


2. Reduces the Risk of Chronic Depression

Seniors tend to suppress their emotions as they grow older, including feelings of depression. When left untreated, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts, weight fluctuations, and a weakened immune system. A 2011 study conducted at East Carolina University found regularly playing video games could have a positive impact on a senior’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. 


3. Provides Sports Activities for Those with Limited Mobility

Just because a senior has limited mobility or dexterity doesn’t mean he or she needs to give up favorite sports. There are now hundreds of different video games that let gamers play sports, ranging from football to Frisbee. Some of these games even track real-time movements to control the avatar. 

Livingston home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.


4. Decreases the Risk of Cataracts

A cataract is a clouded eye lens that affects vision and can result in total blindness if left untreated. Even though cataracts can be removed, they often permanently impair vision. During a lecture at a conference sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Daphne Maurer claimed playing video games for just 40 hours a year can reduce the risk of cataracts and even reverse age-related macular degeneration. 


5. Increases Mental Acuity

Researchers have known for many years that stimulating activities like board games can be highly beneficial for seniors in the initial stages of dementia. However, video games are also an excellent way for seniors to boost their analytical skills and test their hand-eye coordination. The Alzheimer’s Association has released a number of games specifically for seniors interested in learning about new technology. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming at times. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Livingston families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Call us at (973) 970-2723 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.