Most people assume gaming is a fun hobby for teens and 20-something guys with no social skills, but that’s not the case. Video gaming is a huge industry, worth more than $300 billion globally. It has a lot to offer people of all ages, including seniors. If you are yet to be convinced a session playing Call of Duty: Vanguard is in your future, read on.
Gaming is Good for Senior Mental Health
A North Carlina State University study found that seniors who enjoyed gaming occasionally or regularly had better mental health. The study participants said they were less depressed and less prone to negative emotions.
Depression affects 1-5% of seniors living in the community and 13.5% of seniors that need home healthcare, which equates to more than two million people aged 65 and over. Depression is serious in older people because it can increase a person’s reliance on alcohol and lead to increased social isolation.
Gaming is Good for Boosting Cognitive Function
Gaming can also boost cognitive function in seniors. This helps to counteract the natural aging process, as well as slow down the effects of diseases like Alzheimer’s. It turns out that playing first-person shooter games like COD and Halo is even better than puzzle games at slowing cognitive decline. In addition, playing video games on a games console or PC can help boost problem-solving skills, manual dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. Who knew!
Gaming Can Relieve Social Isolation
A lot of seniors suffer from the effects of social isolation. Declining physical health and the loss of members of their friendship group can cause loneliness and poor mental health. Gaming is a great way to make connections in the online world, and if family members share the same passion for gaming, playing games like Fortnite with a video and voice chat function is a fun way to keep in touch when players live many miles apart.
Even if the game doesn’t have a chat function, seniors can still play with friends and family while communicating on a platform like Discord or Messenger.
Building a Gaming Setup
Plenty of senior living facilities have recognized the benefits of gaming for seniors, so it’s worth checking if a retirement home has a gaming room with an Xbox or PlayStation. If not, ask the manager to consider investing in some gaming equipment – and if they are not open to the suggestion, look for a senior living facility that is more willing to embrace modern technology.
For seniors still living at home, it’s very easy to create a fun gaming room. You can either buy a gaming console or invest in a PC with the right specifications. The right graphics card is important, so click here for some more info on Intel Arc graphics.
If you are new to gaming, ask your younger family members for help getting started. They will be delighted to share their enthusiasm with you and it’s a great way to bond with grandkids. Have fun!
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