What Games Keep My Mind Sharp as I Age?

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Games to support brain health
KS and MO Attorney Kyle E Krull

Written by Kyle Krull

Attorney & Counsellor at Law Kyle Krull is president of the Law Offices of Kyle E. Krull, P.A., an Estate Planning Law Firm located in Overland Park, KS. Estate Planning Attorney Kyle Krull has provided continuing education instruction to attorneys, accountants, and financial professionals at local, state, and national programs.

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POSTED ON: June 23, 2022

It's never too late to benefit from taking up this type of activity.

My family loves "board" games.

They roll their eyes when I refer to such games as "bored" games.

It appears I should reassess my thinking, for the betterment of my thinking.

Allow me to explain.

According to a recent article form Money Talks News titled “This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age,” the type of games you probably loved as a child offer a great way to keep your brain sharp in old age.

Some games can support brain health.

Many board games help improve cognitive functioning.

People who regularly play non-digital games, like card or board games, score better on memory and thinking tests in their 70s than those who do not.

Says who?

Such were the findings of a recent study out of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

But wait, there is still hope if you presently eschew "bored" games.

The study found that seniors who suddenly increased game playing during their 70s also were more likely to maintain certain cognitive skills.

So, it is never too late to dust off your copy of Monopoly or to learn bridge.

For the long-term study, which was published in The Journals of Gerontology, psychologists tested more than 1,000 people born in 1936, beginning at age 70 in the following skills:

  • Memory
  • Problem-solving
  • Thinking speed
  • General thinking ability

The researchers repeated the tests every three years, until the study participants turned age 79.

At two ages — 70 and 76 — participants also reported how often they played non-digital games, such as bingo, cards, chess or crosswords.

Those who played more games later in life experienced less decline in thinking skills from age 70 to 79. This protective effect was particularly noticeable in memory function and thinking speed.

The researchers noted that their findings were just the latest in a line of studies that suggest a link between engaging in activities throughout life and better thinking ability in old age.

Protecting your brain probably was not a thought you had when you were age 25.

Nevertheless, it is a safe bet you have more than a passing interest in brain health as your birthday cake is has more candles (a lot more).

Reference: Money Talks News (April 23, 2022) “This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age”

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