Playing Games for a Sharper Brain

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Does playing games cause bigger brains and sharper thinking, or are those who already have healthier brains more likely to play games?
This chicken or egg question is something that scientists have been wondering for some time.  The popular theory is that the mental activity of playing games exercises the brain in such a way that deters dementia. But, another theory says that those who already have sharper minds and have a mental reserve of sorts are inclined towards game playing and naturally less susceptible to suffering from dementia.
However, in either case, doctors can agree on one thing – playing games is good for you.  Not only does it have mental benefits, but the social aspects can reduce the chances of depression and loneliness. All great reasons to dust off that chess board!
Here are a few games that Freedom Home Care has found to keep your mind sharp and happy:
1. Scrabble.  
This word game really keeps you thinking.  Mentally arranging letters into words and anticipating your competitors’ moves makes the brain work extra hard.  And, don’t forget the benefits of a good belly laugh when someone places an especially hilarious word on the board.
2. Yahtzee.  
Also known in some realms as Parcheesi, this social game of luck keeps your mind quick with the use of numbers. To total your points each turn, you’ll need to add or multiply certain dice together. Then, you often have to add additional points to the mix.  While the math isn’t complicated, it will keep your brain turning.
3. Computer Games.  
Are computer games on your radar?  If not, they should be.  According to a recent study, playing games on the computer have the same antidepressant effect as taking the gold-standard drug Lexapro.
While medications for depression have a slew of side-effects and only work around a third of the time, the computer’s only side-effect may be a little eye strain after playing for long periods. So, download a few games (or ask someone to do it for you), find a friend to compete against and get your mind moving in the digital world.
It really doesn’t matter if the game is timed, wordy, or digital.  Any extra playtime for your brain will be beneficial. The real secret is to find a game you like, keep playing, and play often.
Freedom Home Care offers a variety of in-home care and elderly services.  Call us today to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones.