Covid-19 has forced everyone to stay indoors. This has impacted the process of socialization, stress management that senior citizens utilized in their day to day life. During this time, it has become imperative that indoor games be incorporated into the lifestyle of the elderly for healthy ageing. Indoors games have several benefits for the elderly and their caregivers.
1. Bridging Intergenerational Gap
Covid has forced us to spend more time indoors, the intergenerational gap has been more prominent than ever. Games like Reading; online games (Ludo, chess, Bingo) can encourage not only to develop communication skills but also create common goals. Indoor games can also help increase the level of meaningful activities among all family members. Card Games such as Rummy, Bluff, pinochle are interesting ways to not only stimulate the brain but also engage family members to connect with each other and spend quality time together.
2. Cognitive Decline
Researches have suggested that indoor activities reduce stress, improve sleep. Regular reading also helps with cognitive decline. These indoor activities stimulate the brain and increase attention span. With the increase in audiobooks, the elderly can now also listen to books and engage themselves in a world of fiction or facts.
3. Socio-emotional regulation
Indoor game such as Pictionary has several cognitive and socio-emotional benefits. Among children, games like Pictionary help with socio-emotional regulation. Among the elderly converting the word into an image in the mind requires visualisation, memory, manipulation of mental images and organisation of thoughts. All of these activities lead to mind and visual-motor integration which in-turns facilitate healthy and active ageing. Pictionary also helps regulate the socio-emotional skills of the elderly such as self-regulation, listening, negotiating, independent thinking, taking other perspectives, persistence, and curiosity. Most importantly play fosters focus and communication.
4. Stress Reduction
Yoga and meditation are healthy ways to reduce stress, but if you are an individual who is unable to engage in these activities indoor games are your kryptonite. Indoor games have long backed research suggesting that playing games such as ludo or other board games can reduce stress among all age groups. These games stimulate the brains and foster a space for an individual to connect, belong and actively engage with their family members and engage in sharing life stories and experiences.
5. Active ageing
Although board games may seem childish, there have been well-documented literature on using board games to help the elderly engage in active ageing. Seniors can enjoy games like scrabble, carrom, Ludo, dominoes, world safari, monopoly, bingo. Board games elevate an elderly sense of subjective and psychological well-being. They also activate healthy ageing and reduce stress.
6. Online Games And Self Esteem
Online games such as scrabbles, Ludo, Chess, Candy Crush, Word Puzzle, Bingo are not only diverse but easily accessible. The elderly can compete against each other and also with their children or grandchildren. Online games although cannot replace human touch, can be an interesting way to boost elderly self-esteem and increase their sense of belongingness. Online games are also beneficial to keep the elderly engaged at times when family members cannot be physically present with them.
Playing games even though might seem an unbelievable and easy option towards active and healthy ageing. But as the philosopher William of Ockham said “the simplest answer is most often correct”.