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While it may seem strange at first, playing card games can have a number of health benefits for seniors. If your elderly loved one enjoys playing card games, having him or her incorporate a few rounds of bridge or hearts into his or her daily routine may help promote his or her physical, mental, and emotional health. Read on for four reasons that the senior care experts at Redondo Beach Home Care Assistance suggest playing cards is good for your elderly loved one.
1. Cognitive Stimulation
Challenging card games, such as bridge, canasta, and pinochle, can stimulate the brain and help fight memory loss. Recent studies have shown that brain cells are produced even as we age, so while many seniors fear that growing older means a decline in mental health, this does not have to be the case. With regular stimulation from card playing, the brain will create new cells and grow stronger neural pathways.
2. Stronger Immune System
Recent studies show that when the brain is engaged with challenging card games, the dorsolateral cortex is stimulated and boosts the immune system. With games like bridge, which require concentration, math, and memory skills, players will frequently have an increase in T cells, which are the cells responsible for fighting infection.
3. Stress Relief
As seniors age, their bodies being having difficulty regulating stress hormones. As a result, the elderly experience higher doses of these hormones, leading to high blood pressure and diminished immune systems. However, some hobbies, such as card playing, have been shown to reduce stress. To help your elderly loved one reduce his or her stress levels, ask his or her Redondo Beach hourly caregiver to play cards with your loved one to help reduce stress hormones and encourage feelings of confidence and relaxation.
If your elderly relative is like most seniors, he or she may experience moments of depression and loneliness. As a lack of contact with friends and family can aggravate these feelings, it’s important to find ways to help your loved one stay social. Playing cards will give your loved one an opportunity to make friends and socialize, helping him or her avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness.
To learn other strategies that can promote senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our experienced caregivers are dedicated to providing seniors of all abilities with the in-home assistance they need to stay healthy and comfortable. In addition, if your elderly loved one experiences cognitive challenges, our dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers in Redondo Beach are highly trained to help ensure that he or she can live safely in his or her own home. To learn more about how our senior care services may benefit your elderly loved one, give a Care Manager a call at (310) 504-0506 and schedule a free in-home consultation.