Games aren’t just for kids
Many people stop playing games when they grow up, which is a real shame. Playing a game isn’t juvenile, it can be fun, creative, social, entertaining and good for the brain.
We at Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton love games and we know the value of them in later life. In our dementia day care centre we do jigsaw puzzles, we play connect 4, we love bingo and snap; all fairly simple activities, so as not to frustrate older people who are living with dementia, but ones which entertain and engage people and keep their grey matter active.
For older people with no cognitive impairment we would suggest you try more complex and immersive games. Role playing games are described as “Theatre of the mind”, because a story is weaved by the players under the direction of a Game Master. The Game Master describes the scenario facing the players and the players work together (yes it is a co-operative game) to describe what they will do to overcome the challenges they face. If you like the thought of being a bold adventurer and you enjoy being with a small group of people, then role playing games might suit you.
There are also some great board games which are far more involving and demand more skill than the snakes and ladders and monopoly type games of our youth. Ticket to Ride is a great board game. The objective: to see the most cities in North America (or Europe or the UK) in just 7 days. Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who can fulfil their Destination Tickets by connecting two distant cities, and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway. It’s fun, competitive and requires some thought without feeling like hard work. It’s also available to be played on a smartphone, computer or tablet.
If you are more of a traditionalist, then chess, dominoes, backgammon or card games are brilliant fun, social and keep the brain working. Bridge is possibly the best card game ever invented. It’s very social requiring 4 players playing as 2 pairs. It requires high levels of skill and tactics to play well; but it can also be enjoyed by beginners. Bridge is so popular that there are clubs that specialise in hosting games. In Southport the main club is on Albert Road and they offer bridge at all levels including beginners’ classes to learn the game. If this sounds interesting then give them a call on 01704530411.
If chess might be more your thing, then Southport Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening in the Central Club, Bath Street. The Adult (Senior) Section runs between 7:30pm and 10:30pm. If you are interested in playing Chess on a friendly or competitive basis, just turn up to the Club any Tuesday evening to give it a try. You can attend for three times before deciding to become a Club member.
So why not become a game player. We can’t guarantee it will give you your youth back but it will sharpen the mind and put a spring in your step.