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4 Ways Playing Card Games Promotes Senior Health

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

The sight of an elderly loved one playing cards with friends or grandkids is enough to make anyone happy, and getting involved in a card game provides additional benefits seniors can smile about. Lehigh Valley, PA, elderly home care experts want to share 5 reasons older adults should play a game of cards every now and then.

1. Enhance Fine Motor Skills

Arthritis is particularly hard on a senior’s hands, and keeping those joints moving is important for reducing stiffness. With every shuffle, flip, and deal, seniors promote better health for their joints. Moving the cards also increases finger dexterity.

2. Retain Cognitive Functioning

Card games have long been used to teach kids basic skills such as counting, and seniors can also use this same concept to boost their brainpower. Games like poker that rely on strategy are ideal for this purpose. However, seniors increase their brain activity any time they play cards.

3. Boost the Immune System

Most people would never realize card games could keep them from getting sick. However, a challenging card game stimulates the part of the brain responsible for immune system functioning. With every game, T-cells are released to help fight the germs that cause infections.

4. Promote Relaxation

Playing cards releases endorphins that help seniors relieve stress. Laughing and enjoying a friendly competition also engages the drive to feel a sense of purpose. Seniors benefit from renewed self-confidence even if they don’t win a round because simply engaging with others lets them know they play an important role in the world. After playing a few rounds, seniors are less likely to experience depression and anxiety.

5. Strengthen Speech and Language

Some seniors develop health conditions that affect their ability to speak. Playing card games provides an opportunity to enjoy conversations and use simple language to discuss the game’s strategy. Because a senior’s speech skills tend to get better the more often he or she talks, conversing during a card game is a great strategy for strengthening language skills after a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Playing cards is just one of many engaging activities that can help boost your aging loved one’s overall wellbeing. Learn more about boosting your loved one’s health by reaching to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available around the clock to provide mental and social stimulation and assist with household tasks, and we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Lehigh Valley, PA, families trust. For more information on our at-home care services, call a friendly Care Manager at 484-350-3874 to request a free consultation.