Playing Board Games at Ash Croft House Nursing Home
With the cold weather keeping us indoors, Cedars Care Group residents have been taking part in a variety of stimulating indoor activities this month. At our Merseyside care home, Ash Croft House, carers have introduced board game afternoons to the activity schedule. Residents regularly enjoy playing a variety of board games ranging from Snakes & Ladders to Scrabble and Monopoly. All who took part in the activity felt energised and stimulated and some even got very competitive! But most of all, playing the games gave residents and staff a boost of nostalgic joy, with memories of carefree childhoods and social events from the past. After all, isn’t playing boardgames with family and friends at the heart of all our fondest childhood memories?
Playing ‘thinking’ board games like Scrabble and Monopoly have been proven to be particularly beneficial to elderly people, and can even prevent the onset of dementia! Playing these games function as invaluable brain exercises, and just some of their benefits include but aren’t limited to:
- Improving Memory – The requirement to remember events during a game and the need to focus on cognitive associations means the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex of the brain are put to work. These are two of the first areas of the brain to be affected in the early stages of dementia.
- Reducing Stress – The association of board games with childhood is a positive factor in and of itself. Add to this the fun that is had through healthy competition and interaction with others, which often leads to jokes and laughter. Enjoying a board game can release endorphins. These relax muscles and increase circulation which results in lowered blood pressure.
- Increasing Dexterity – As we get older, the ability to perform simple tasks like buttoning shirts or making tea become more difficult when motor skills become compromised. However, as with most things, practice makes perfect, and the more a person works on coordination and dexterity, the more they improve. Moving pieces on a board game or shuffling and arranging cads are just some of the ways a board game can help older people practice these skills in a fun way without pressure.
- Building Immunity – This sounds irrelevant but its true that stress and anxiety can contribute to compromised immunity, while a high morale helps strengthen us against sickness. Research shows that those who enjoy playing board games release neuropeptides that fight stress and boost immunity.
Mentally stimulating recreational activities in early and middle adulthood is strongly associated with a reduced risk of dementia in later life. So board games aren’t just great activities for elderly people. They’re also a great way to keep the brain healthy so that it can fight dementia through the onset of old age.
Meaningful activities are a fundamental part of day-to-day life at Cedars Care Group Homes. They are vital for the wellbeing of seniors, and those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Board games and quizzes are very popular on our list of recreational and therapeutic activities with great benefits to residents. You can find out more about our Activities Here.
Looking for a care home in Merseyside? Find out more about Ash Croft House Nursing Home, based in Formby, and how you can arrange a visit for tea or lunch!