Private Duty Spotlight: Best Video Games for Seniors

Video games are not just for kids anymore! For several years now, video game developers have been targeting a broader demographic by creating intuitive systems that are more attractive to nontraditional gamers like parents and grandparents. And with the popularity of tablet computers, video games are becoming even more accessible than ever.

For senior clients, these easy-to-play games open up a whole new realm of activity and engagement. According to WebMD, “Playing certain video games can help improve split-second decision making, hand-eye coordination, and, in some cases, auditory perception.” Also, they’re just plain fun! Here are a few games agencies can use with clients to help improve fitness, coordination, and mental dexterity:

Brain Age: Available on the handheld Nintendo DS system, this game has a multitude of brain-sharpening activities like word scrambles, memory games, and math challenges. For agencies and caregivers, the Nintendo DS is easily portable from client to client, with simple, easy to explain and use controls.

Wii Sports Resort: Available on the Nintendo Wii, this is actually a full set of games in one. Users can go bowling, practice hand-eye coordination with archery and even play a round or two of golf. Wii games are known for keeping seniors engaged both mentally and physically. If your agency hasn’t invested in one, perhaps clients can borrow one from a family member.

Tetris: A variation of this game is available on several gaming systems and as a downloadable app on smartphones and tablets. This classic stacking game is perfect for sharpening hand-eye coordination and enhancing quick, logical thinking.

Grandparent Games: This interactive site allows grandparents and their grandchildren to see and talk to each other while playing fun games together online.

Other online games: There are a number of sites online that offer easy- to-play games for free or a small fee. Some of the top-rated sites include Pop CapYahoo Games, and AARP Games.

Helping seniors stay active and engaged can be as simple as plugging in a game system or firing up the computer. Has your agency incorporated video games into client care? Tell us some of your favorite games for seniors on the Private Duty Home Care Association’s Facebook page!

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