Field Trips for the ElderlyGriswold has decided that the month of March is the month of the field trip. So this week on our blog, we’re offering activity and event ideas for you and your loved one to enjoy together. Make it a point this month to rejuvenate your loved one’s spirit, energy and attitude with plenty of new and exciting activities.

Two myths that we’re debunking in this post:

  • A field trip must be outside.
  • Video games are just for kids.

Studies are showing that more seniors than ever are turning to video games for fun and health benefits. Here’s a run-down of the whole-body benefits that video games provide for the elderly:

  1. Mood – A University of California study showed that the use of “exergames” on Nintendo Wii® platforms significantly improves mood and mental health in elderly adults with mild depression! Participants in the study played an exergame — from bowling, tennis and golf to archery, cycling and basketball — three times per week for 35 minutes.
  2. Balance & Coordination — Researchers from The University of Aberdeen, Scotland and the UK’s National Health Service tracked changes in people over the age of 70 who regularly used Wii Fit®. With balance boards that record movements and provide performance feedback and non-strenuous activities that include yoga poses and aerobic exercises, Wii Fit showed very positive results. Not only did it improve the participants’ balance and help them avoid falls, but it did so while entertaining the elderly participants and, once again, improving their mood! 
  3. Exercise — With games like Wii Bowling, exercise for the elderly is no longer as limited as it used to be. A study at The American College of Sports Medicine proved the heart-healthy effects of this fun and leisurely game.
  4. Mental Sharpness — A study at the University of Florida indicated that video games improve mental alertness and hand-eye coordination and promote visual learning in the elderly. 

But the most exciting part about all this research is that it’s still underway! For example, there are ongoing studies testing the impact of video games on deterring mental decline in senior citizens.

This March, take your loved one on a field trip to the bowling alley, driving range or tennis court without leaving home!

Check back soon — or better yet, subscribe to the Griswold Blog — for insider advice on the great outdoors

Do you and your loved one play video games together? Tell us in the comments below.