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Video Games: Can They Help Slow Dementia?

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One may not think of video games as the best way to sharpen the mind. For a long time, everything in the news has been all about the “brain rotting” that video games cause. However, research is now showing that we may not have been exactly right about the conclusion that there was no value in all that screen time.

An article published by Behavioural Brain Research in 2020 describes an experiment with senior participants, all 60 to 80 years old. Researchers tested how 3-dimensional games might affect memory and cognitive health. Half of the participants played Super Mario World and the other half played 2-dimensional Solitaire during the four week evaluation period. Their playtime was around 30 to 45 minutes daily.

Two weeks into the test, participants playing Super Mario World showed improved cognition and memory function compared to those playing Solitaire.

Traditional Games for Improved Cognition

Brain stimulation has been linked with slowing or decreasing dementia. However, seniors may not have any interest in playing video games. The technology may feel too advanced and intimidating for some. But there are traditional games that are also great for improving cognitive function. Here are a few examples of types of games and what they can help strengthen or support:

  • Language puzzles such as word searches, crossword puzzles, or Scrabble® can help memory, thinking speed, and verbal recall
  • Puzzles strengthen hand-eye coordination and memory 
  • Card games can help with concentration, memory, and problem solving
  • Board games encourage engagement and coordination

Our senior living community at Spring Gardens St. George, Utah, recognizes the importance of brain stimulation for seniors. We believe that seniors should get out of their comfort zones and try new activities, especially video games. Spring Gardens St. George residents even participate in a Wii bowling league with championship games! Not only is it fun and mentally stimulating, but it gets residents out of their seats for light exercise.

If you have any questions about our community, give us a call today and we can answer them.

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