The game of chess has ancient roots, and there are many reasons why the game has stood the test of time. In addition to being associated with boosting brainpower, playing chess has many other benefits that can enhance a senior’s health. The Grand Rapids home care professionals at Home Care Assistance discuss 4 reasons your elderly loved one might want to learn this game and play it often.
1. Enhances Fine Motor Skills
After a stroke or major injury, many seniors lose some of their fine motor skills. Though it may look simple, the act of moving chess pieces across the board engages multiple muscles, joints, and tendons in the wrists and hands. Playing regularly encourages these finite movements, which can make a big difference in a senior’s recovery.
2. Keeps the Mind Stimulated
The brain is now recognized as a major muscle that requires frequent workouts to stay in shape. Strategizing, memorizing rules, and analyzing changing situations can all help keep your loved one’s brain engaged. Studies have also shown seniors who play brain-boosting games are less likely to develop dementia after age 75.
3. Provides a Sense of Purpose
After retirement, many seniors spend time wondering about their purpose in life. Changes in health may have led them to let go of hobbies they once enjoyed but can no longer do safely. Chess is an activity your loved one can look forward to every day, and it can be played practically anywhere, which means your loved one can still enjoy this activity even if he or she is bedridden or uses a wheelchair. Your loved one can also set goals to work toward as he or she builds skills and strategies. Whether your loved one is looking forward to a competition or just playing with a friend, chess provides inspiration for facing each day with a positive mindset.
4. Increases Socialization
One of the biggest advantages of chess is that it has no age or cultural restrictions, which means your loved one may find a common interest with family members, neighbors, friends, and Grand Rapids, MI, caregivers. Chess clubs are also a good way to encourage socialization. Arranging to play a game with a companion or at a community center is an ideal way to prevent isolation.
In addition to playing chess, there are many other ways your loved one can increase his or her longevity, including receiving high-quality in-home care from Grand Rapids Home Care Assistance. Our expertly trained caregivers use the Balanced Care Method to encourage seniors to engage in mental and physical activity, find a sense of purpose and calm, and focus on many other factors that can help them live longer, healthier lives. For seniors who need more extensive assistance, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Grand Rapids seniors can rely on. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly Care Managers, call 616-243-0835 today.