The Benefits of Cribbage for Seniors

The Benefits of Cribbage for Seniors on Memory Cafe Directory

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We have only just begun the second innings of life, and we should be able to enjoy this time as much as possible. As we grow in age, we want to participate in interesting activities that won’t make too high a demand on our body.

There is also the all-important question of mental stimulation. We want to keep the brain stimulated to prevent the onset and acceleration of different types of dementia.

Many assisted living communities and caregivers pay a lot of attention to mental stimulation and include their senior members in various engaging activities. This approach suggests using noninvasive and drug-free treatment to prevent memory loss. According to a study by Dignity Health, individuals over the age of 65 who engaged in mentally stimulating activities showed improved short-term memory.

Welcome to Cribbage

Cribbage is a card strategy game that can help keep minds active, and brings many short and long-term benefits. It usually involves two players, but there are variations which can be played with more players. The aim is to score 121 points from a series of card-playing rounds.

The cribbage board is a small, often foldable rectangular wooden plank. Some cribbage boards have a track field design, because the game has a race-like element to it.

How Can Playing Cribbage Help You?

Cribbage has piqued your interest, but you are wondering what is in it for you. Here are some of the benefits of cribbage:

Enhanced Short-Term Memory

About 40% of seniors experience memory loss once they reach age 65. This can pose problems while fulfilling day-to-day obligations. The consequences also become evident in the long run.

The first and perhaps the most important benefit of cribbage for the elderly is that it can enhance short-term memory.

In cribbage, you have to remember the cards that have already been played. This involves recalling colors and patterns. The process of keeping track and recalling can improve memory and retention skills. The key benefit of this brain-stimulating activity is creating new connections between brain cells.

For additional benefit, you should set and follow some general rules for yourself, such as drawing and following a daily routine (include a set playing time), making plans with friends to play, and following up your plan with your game opponent.

If you have never played cribbage before, and it is your first time trying it, you might even discover that you have skills that you didn’t even know about.

Improved Concentration

As we age, the natural loss of receptors in our brains makes it harder for us to concentrate. It is mostly reflected in the slowing down of learning new information that comes our way.

Although it is impossible to disregard the natural loss of neurons, we can slow this down and upgrade concentration by participating in various social activities and games.

For instance, setting aside a time of the day to play cribbage might help. This game requires focus, critical thinking, brainstorming, and most importantly, problem-solving skills.

You have to pay attention to your opponent and try not to provide an opening. It can help keep your mind sharp and boost brain function.

The best part about cribbage is that it is easy to learn, so you can start enjoying this game quickly. It’s not complicated like other card or board games, so newbies have nothing to fear.

Improved Physical Health

Participating in social activities and brain stimulation games does not only contribute to the mental health of seniors. The benefit of these activities is also reflected in improved physical health.

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It goes without saying that when we get older, we move less, and unfortunately, we neglect our physical health. However, this does not have to be the case, and participating in brain stimulating games like cribbage can help us keep our muscles active.

The game requires hand-eye coordination. The fast-paced gameplay may prove beneficial in rebuilding and improving motor skills. The movement required by cribbage may help keep our fingers nimble.

Playing cribbage alongside therapy can actually complement the effect of that treatment.

Easy to Socialize

Socializing is essential for our emotional well-being. Playing cribbage with someone is a way to socialize and connect with them. It has the effect of boosting our mood and happiness. It is also a way to protect ourselves from loneliness and unintentional isolation.

If you have always loved making friends, cribbage offers a way to make some new ones. Friends bond over shared interests. Here is an interesting game that you can share.

You and your new friend can play against each other, or help each other compete with others. You could strategize against each other, or share your strategies with each other. There is just so much to speak about before, after and during this game.

If you always found it difficult to make friends, this game can serve as an icebreaker. It can help ease into conversations, and through those conversations, into a meaningful friendship.

You can share this game with the younger generations too. If you played this game as a child, you probably have stories to share about it with the kids. Even if you never played before, and don’t have any related stories, you can play now, and the stories will write themselves.

The twists and turns of the game make it exciting and engaging. Care to see if the younger generations are better at logic, or if you still have the upper hand?

Are you Ready to Play?

These days, it is possible to play cribbage online. No one to play with at the moment? No problem! Playing cribbage online does not even require the basic cribbage board or deck of cards. Just go online and play. And if you are playing it online on your phone, you are not even restricted by location.

Screen image cribbage for seniors

From, courtesy Unwind Media

Defeating artificial intelligence at our age has a charm of its own. Imagine the exhilarating feeling when you win against the computer. You can even brag about it to your close ones.

Now that you know all the benefits playing cribbage holds, what’s stopping you from getting started on a game? Go ahead, start playing. And if someone asks, tell them you are taking care of your health or exercising your mind.

Cribbage is like medicine and treatment, minus the bitterness and extra effort, with the addition of tons of fun!

Welcoming senior years does not have to be something that brings a gloomy mood with it. On the contrary, it is very easy to enjoy improving mental and physical health in later years.

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