Home Health & Wellness Dementia Expert Urges Older Generation to Play More Video Games, As Supported by a New Study

Dementia Expert Urges Older Generation to Play More Video Games, As Supported by a New Study

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A brand new study from Samsung, surveying over 65-year-olds in the UK, has revealed that over a third (36%) are gaming every day. 

Baycroft Care Homes offer care for dementia residents, and managing director Stewart McGinn said the study is “groundbreaking and could elicit significant change”. 

McGinn explained further: “Video games can be extremely beneficial in a dementia resident’s cognitive abilities. In fact, some video games can be customised specifically to improve these cognitive abilities, such as memory and reasoning. 

“There are many genres of video games for the elderly to choose from to suit their preferences, such as action games, simulation games, strategy games, sports games, and puzzle games. There is also a great mixture of brands to choose from that offer different products, such as handheld devices or remote-control-compatible devices. Elderly gamers can choose what they prefer, and what suits their physical capabilities.

“According to research from 2020, where early-stage and middle-stage dementia patients used serious video games, it was observed that they were able to improve a wide variety of cognitive abilities, including short-term memory, reaction time, problem-solving, logical reasoning, and communication.

“However, Samsung’s report, states that only 22% of those over 65s are playing video games to stimulate their minds. It is a statistic that arguably highlights the lack of knowledge surrounding how beneficial video games, and fun in general, is to people with dementia.

“In most high-quality care homes, there are often extensive activity programmes for this very reason, as stimulating the minds of dementia residents could slow down symptoms. In care homes, activities can range from arts and crafts, quizzes and games, cooking, and listening to music.

“The benefits of the elderly gaming are not just limited to improving cognitive abilities either, as Samsung’s study also revealed that two-fifths (42%) of the over-65s surveyed are gaming to bond and spend quality time with their family members.

“The research stated that almost a third (32%) of those surveyed do not understand gaming technology, and 31% need someone to explain how to play. This opens up avenues for bonding with family members or friends, who can teach older people who want to learn how to game, and then play together.

“Not only does quality time with others boost cognitive development in the elderly, but it can also help to reduce feelings of loneliness. Studies have proven that loneliness and social isolation correlate with cognitive decline, supporting the importance of regular visits. With gaming thrown in the mix, this will elevate regular visits, making them fun and enjoyable.

“Furthermore, engaging in conversations and seeing familiar faces regularly can improve memory in dementia residents. Gaming with elderly loved ones can help create new memories and experiences to reminisce on too. Not to mention the boost in mood and feelings of happiness the elderly experience when visited by a family member or friend.”

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