Board games can help is 'stay sharp' in older age

Board games and other similar activities could help keep our memory sharp in old age.

A study carried out by academics at Edinburgh University looked at a group of 1091 individuals. They were all born in 1939. Their general cognitive function was assessed at age 11 and 70 and noted. They then did cognitive tests with the participants at ages 73, 76 and 79.

The results of the studies were interesting. They showed that playing things such as board games in later years of life saw a decline in thinking skills. In particular that saw much slower and lesser decline in memory function and thinking speed.

These studies have started to narrow down what specific activities in particular can help. They have already discovered that in addition to board games, card games, bingo and chess can also help. They state specifically steering away from digital activities and sticking with things we have mentioned above. These activities take more brain power than many digital games that do a lot of the thinking for you.

So is this all we need to do?

They do go on to point out that that staying physically fit and healthy and not smoking will also help slow our cognitive ageing.

Caroline Abrahams, Director of Age UK said: “There is a connection between playing board games and other non-digital games later in life and sharper thinking and memory skills. These studies add to what we know about steps we can take to protect our cognitive health. This is in addition to not drinking excess alcohol, being active and eating a healthy diet,”

Maybe the next birthday or Christmas gift could be a board game or maybe a pack of cards to play at home?

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