It may take a bit of persuading but teenagers can connect with their grandparents or other older family members while helping them improve memory and multitasking skills. Recent studies have found that the aging brain can continue to gain cognitive abilities thanks to newer technology and our natural affinity towards game play and competition.
The brain can be re-trained in later life and a 2013 study, published in Nature International Journal of Science, found that a custom-designed video game (NeuroRacer) improved multitasking and enhanced working memory and attention, months beyond the initial video game training.
Some rehabilitation centers are also using Wii games to recover motor function after stroke and while there is no cure for dementia, video game play may help slow the progression of memory loss.
Good Games for Older Adults
- Brain Age (Nintendo)
- Wii Golf
- Wii Bowling
- Rock Band – Beatles edition
- Dancing with the Stars
- Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII
Warcraft (online game)
The games can be a great way for many generations to interact while keeping the brain sharp. Some offer physical activity as well as mental challenges which will provide an opportunity for social interaction and exercise as the weather changes.
To read the full study visit: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24005416 . For links to a variety of online brain health games visit the American Association of Retired Persons at: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/brain_games/ .