The Benefits of Video Games & VR for Seniors

Video games and Virtual Reality has not even surprised the younger generation but a new to seniors as well. Let me tell you how it has benefited them.

In recent years, the video game industry has experienced unprecedented growth. Gamers from all over the world are competing online in battle royale arenas to be the best. As a result, the demand for more sophisticated games and better gaming experiences has also increased. From Legend of Zelda and Fortnite and beyond, gaming has quickly become one of the most popular forms of entertainment.

However, when you think of gamers, you probably think of teenagers and young adults surrounded by high-tech computers and equipment. A 65-year-old woman probably doesn’t pop into your mind when you picture a gamer. However, many may find it surprising that around 21 percent of all people who engage with a video game are over the age of 50.

You probably don’t think of senior citizen gamers when you think of a video game or PC game like grand theft auto, Fortnite, or even Call of Duty. Today, however, many seniors who live in an assisted living facility, retirement center, or other senior living locations are becoming avid video game players. From PlayStation and Nintendo Switch to other consoles and PCs, senior citizens are reaping the benefits and fun of the gameplay experience.

Sites like Hot Spawn provide updates, news, and guides from the esports and gaming world. This information helps gamers and others stay informed and improve their gameplay. Once thought of as resources for young adult gamers, nursing homes and assisted living homes are now getting their senior residents involved. The benefits of gaming and VR for seniors have become increasingly apparent, and now video game guides and gameplay are a part of many treatments and rehab plans. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of video gameplay and VR for seniors.

Greater Emotional Well-Being

Emotional health is important for all humans, no matter their age or health condition. Doing things that make you happy such as going out to lunch, seeing a movie, or going for a walk, can improve your mental and emotional health. As a result, many seniors involved in gameplay in a fantasy world enjoy improved moods and greater well-being.

Studies have shown that seniors over the age of 63 who are regular or occasional gamers have greater social activity, well-being, and overall health than those who don’t play. Additionally, seniors who enjoy adventure and the gameplay experience report lower instances of depression and anxiety.

Improved Cognition

Gaming has been proven to aid with brain function and thinking. It is even recommended that video gaming be used during study breaks to help improve learning for many students. Recently, gaming has also been shown to help improve cognitive abilities and reverse the signs of mental aging in seniors who participated in video gameplay. Gaming is seen as a memory care strategy.

Playing adventure games is like exercise for the mind as the gamer has to make numerous sudden decisions and think quickly. This can help improve a senior citizen’s memory and recall. Additionally, many popular games force players to switch between various tasks quickly. This has been shown to help improve a senior’s ability to perform daily tasks and increase their mental flexibility.

Reduced Alzheimer’s Risk

With millions of seniors experiencing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists and doctors are constantly seeking new preventative techniques and treatment methods. Recently, experts found a link between gaming and a reduced Alzheimer’s risk. The area of the brain known as the hippocampus has indicators associated with memory and Alzheimer’s progression. A study looked at seniors who play video games and found significant hippocampus gray matter growth. It found that gaming helped seniors exercise their brains and fend off certain Alzheimer’s risks in ways that activities like learning the piano didn’t.

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From the virtual world to the real world, gaming is helping to improve the lives and wellness of many seniors. While gaming might be seen as a young adult activity, the fun and benefits can extend across generational gaps.