Grandma. That simple, endearing word conjures up a flood of memories and associations: pleasant recollections of fresh apple pies, old-fashioned quilts and relaxing afternoons on the porch with a cup of homemade hot cocoa.
Photo by Jason Meredith
For most of us, our grandparents have impacted our lives in hundreds of positive ways over the years, and as we grow older, we find ourselves thinking about ways to give back. Due to work, family and generally jam-packed schedules, personal visits never seem to last as long as we’d like, and we sometimes feel dissatisfied returning to our busy lives while our grandparents are left behind with little to fill the time but memories.
Photo by Lars Ploughmann
Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, there’s a whole world of activities available to people of all ages. Many of those activities can even help to keep minds alert and delay aging. Perhaps you’re thinking that your grandparents can’t use a computer. Think again. Research shows that 14% of internet users are over the age of 55. Your Grandma may even turn out to be more tech-savvy than you. So give her a nudge in the right direction with some of these fun, social and brain-engaging online games.
Your grandma may not have a Tuesday bridge night with her circle of close friends anymore, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t still enjoy playing every now and then. She may relish a chance to take a walk down memory lane by participating in some of her timeless favorites: bridge, canasta or that perennial favorite, the crossword puzzle. All of these games can now be enjoyed online.
Photo by Miranda Celeste Hale
Maybe your grandparents aren’t quite up for World of Warcraft, but then again, maybe they are. In fact, a suspenseful role-playing game like World of Warcraft not only can be fun and engaging but also may strengthen your grandparents’ cognition in the areas of spatial ability and focus.
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For grandparents who don’t feel quite up to that challenge, however, something with a tamer element of risk may be in order. Online bingo, on the other end of the suspense spectrum, is an example of an old favorite with a bit of risky edge for grandparents who like a little suspense without the rise in blood pressure induced by World of Warcraft.
For some, the social elements of classic online games or the risk factor of suspenseful games still isn’t quite on the money. If this is true for your grandparents, they may enjoy some simple brain-teasers. Strategy games like online chess present a fun challenge, while logic games — everything from Sudoku to Bejeweled — can present fun-to-solve problems.
Photo by Evelyn Giggles
Even something simple like Simon Says can challenge the memory. The benefits of these types of games surpass mere entertainment; they can actually keep your grandparents’ brains active in ways that may help prevent aging and dementia.
While the entertainment aspect alone may not be enough to keep your grandma coming back for more, the social aspect of online games is an attractive draw for many seniors. Most of the games listed above have a social element, such as chat or messaging, allowing seniors to connect with others who share their interests. Your grandma just may enjoy getting plugged into some online games that allow her to interact with others in a fun, engaging setting.
Written by Billy Caesar, who loves his family, which includes a pair of beautiful twin daughters. He is just getting to know twitter in between hugs and kisses and all the busyness that parenting brings with it.
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