Video games for seniors: do you know the “Serious Games”?

Senior Serious Games
What is the interest of Serious Games for seniors?

Video games were created to entertain children and adults through screens and gamepads. For some time now, a new type of game has arrived: “Serious Games” or serious games that combine and learning. The Serious Games will therefore be found at school, in business but also at home and more particularly among our seniors who are passionate about this new type of activity. They allow us to learn new notions, to develop certain faculties and to train to preserve them. Discover in this article why the Serious Game is a great success among seniors and why it is an interesting tool for them.

What is the Serious Game?

The Serious Game or serious game is both a video game and a source of learning which allows you to work your brain while having fun. This concept is interesting for children but not only. Indeed, the Serious Game is not not just for kids, it will cover all age groups and all socio-professional categories. You will therefore find it at home but also at your professional and more surprising place: among seniors.

Here are the functions of the Serious Game :

  • Learning
  • Coaching
  • Dissemination of information
  • Communication
  • Stimulate certain faculties such as the imagination
  • Stimulate cognitive abilities…

The functions are therefore diverse and varied and we understand the interest that this kind of game could then have in certain pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease to stimulate one’s memory for example, after a stroke to regain balance or even to stimulate his memory.

These are therefore tools that caregivers will offer seniors to stimulate their abilities, recover their physical or cognitive functions, socialize and all that, while playing. The elderly are sometimes very isolated due to their health, which does not allow them to move around as they wish, so it is essential to help them retain all their autonomy and also to stimulate their morale, which by default can be low. These games can be played alone or with others. You can opt for other well-being activities and thus avoid depressive states such as Yoga for example.

Can older people improve their health through Serious Games?

Today, video games are no longer played alone with their controller in front of their screen. You can do sports training, go bowling, play a game of tennis, play a game of chess and all that. with family or friends. As we have just seen, the Serious Games will have various functions and if they are developing more and more among seniors it is because in addition to bringing them together and giving them a good time, they will be able to have a impact on their health:

  • By stimulating the cognitive faculties, you delay the onset of certain degenerative diseases. You will also be able to improve language and increase physical abilities. The elderly person will feel more at ease in their daily life
  • In reducing falls : physical exercise and balance games can reduce falls and therefore fractures. We therefore allow the person to be able to stay at home because they remain independent
  • favors re-education : after an operation or a fracture, rehabilitation can be done using Serious Games
  • Learn and master the instructions for staying healthy and thus prevent certain diseases
  • Understand a disease and be able to manage it independently and thus avoid complications.

How to get a senior to play Serious Games?

The Serious Game can be offered in the structure where the senior lives: retirement home, care center, hospital… The elderly person can also play from home. To do this, equipment is needed and it can be very basic: a computer may be more than enough, but also virtual reality headsets like theoculus quest 2. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your relatives or from certain health professionals who can offer you this kind of games, such as the occupational therapist for example.

For people who are comfortable with new technologies, you can use a headphone and why not a virtual reality headset. For the latter, however, it is necessary to master his gestures and his space in order not to risk falling. Of course you can use game consoles all of which offer Serious Games for all ages. There are also connected objects that will allow you to see the physical efforts and all the progress made by the person. Your turn now!

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