Are you looking for some benefits of chess for seniors? Click and read this in-depth article to know more!
Many older adults have a habit of playing chess when they are retired and have much free time. It is generally believed that chess is suitable for intellectual individuals only. But, as a matter of fact, every age group can be advantageous from playing this sport.
If you are a senior who finds yourself a new hobby, chess will be a great choice. You will definitely be surprised at how pleasant and enjoyable it is. Even though chess is not a kind of physical activity to build muscles, it provides you with mental health benefits. Let’s take a look at some benefits of chess for seniors in the following section!
Key Advantages Of Playing Chess For Elderly People
1. Improving The Cognition
As you may know, seniors might suffer periods of amnesia when they get older and older. It is vital for them to exercise their brain to improve cognition. This is also a good way to fight against the changes in age-related cognition. By doing this frequently, your brain will be in regular operation.
How about pushing and challenging yourself with some new approaches? Chess seems to be immensely powerful in this area. You cannot play the game similarly twice as each game needs different strategies and starts. Your opponents have to adapt your moves while you do the same to theirs.
Even if you have a friend to play chess with, it is still better. Two people playing chess regularly together can keep learning and pushing each other cognitively.
2. Preventing The Development Of Alzheimer’s Disease And Dementia
When people have been aged, their brain activity levels will be incredibly reduced. Aging adults cannot avoid dementia or Alzheimer’s disease due to the ineffectiveness of proper brain functions. Therefore, physical activities are not sufficient. They also need to keep their minds fit and healthy.
According to research, seniors playing chess are less likely to suffer dementia than those who do not play. This result was published and proved in The New England Journal of Medicine article in 2003. The author of this article also emphasized that an inactive brain leads to decreased power.
If the brainpower of the elderly is reduced, their engagement in society and mental health also is declined. This absolutely affects their life negatively.
3. Providing A Tremendous Social Experience
Undoubtedly, chess works well in connecting people. Apart from relatives and neighbors, seniors can find some chess clubs to join. These chess clubs bring them opportunities to meet new friends in their lives.
New friends are essential at this time as they might feel lonely from time to time. Besides, meeting new people helps them to know more personalities, behaviors, and characteristics. All these things allow seniors to become open-minded about their surrounding environment.
Many elderlies take up chess as their new hobby when they have increased interaction and socialization. They actively take part in chess games or tournaments as these events give them more new friends and companions. Also, they boost the elderlies’ sportsmanship, which brings about favorable treatment.
4. Being An Exciting Way To Relieve Anxiety And Stress
You might consider that how come chess can relieve stress while it requires high concentration and thought. It even does not sound like a good game for relaxing. However, chess can genuinely do wonders for seniors’ mental health.
Several aging adults say that when playing chess, they have to focus significantly. They can hardly think about anything which is bothering them. After the game is finished, their thought patterns and emotional state have changed.
It would help if the seniors can join chess tournaments to take advantage of this. In case there are no tournaments in your community, the chess boards in the market are another option.
Learning chess’s basic rules give every age group a good start. It will be okay if you lose the game at first as you can have many other openings and different games. Keep in mind that different moves give you unique games.
5. Enhancing Analytical And Critical Thinking Skills
It is generally believed that playing chess has some similarities to our lives. That is, we both have to make decisions. Actually, older people who are not into mental activities often have obstacles to solve a problem.
Conversely, active seniors are able to make the best decision. When playing chess, you have to analyze logically and think critically so that you can have an optimum solution. You have to consider the risks linked with each decision and the possible options.
Regarding analysis, seniors will be more creative in finding the necessary strategies among significantly presented concepts. After experiencing this process, senior players can derive positive decisions more quickly.
6. Offering Learning Opportunities
Don’t think that after you grasp some basic rules, you end up learning. With this strategy game, there is a multitude of playing ways to learn. Several seniors often enjoy studying or reading books as they don’t have time to do that in their youth.
So, it would better if they have some books talking about the different ways to play chess. Probably, they will be more active and cheerful before taking up this new hobby. Moreover, making use of technology is also not a bad idea.
With the intelligence of machines these days, many programs instructing how to play chess are very prevalent. The software can analyze games and assist you to spot potential moves. Learning with software can help you to make unexpected progress.
7. Improving Intelligence And Memory
Older people will find that they cannot concentrate for a long time anymore. Besides, their memories are relatively affected. If this situation lasts for a long time without any interference, they will easily have some loss of memory.
Although there are six types of chess pieces, the movement pattern of chess is unique. When trying to remember the movement, seniors have chances to boost their cognitive memory. Another benefit is that they can raise their IQ.
To be more specific, seniors will pose a question in their mind following the perspective of the cause- result “what-ifs.” You have to think thoroughly before moving chess pieces as each movement can determine its result. It will be such an important decision to defeat the sparring partner.
A study was conducted to check this statement. Accordingly, the study indicated that seniors could produce considerable rates on their intelligence. It is such excellent evidence about the effectiveness of chess games in improving seniors’ memory and focus.
Can A Senior Learn to Play Chess?
The seniors learn entirely to play chess. Even if they have not any clue about chess, they can still start from right now. Some decent books or video lessons would be a simple start in this situation.
Some aging people think that chess is not a fun activity, showing them some videos to help them change their minds. Inviting them to play with you is also a great idea. Besides, you can take them to some chess tournaments. They will see how chess changes the hobby of older adults these days.
To start the learning of playing chess, you should find a sparring partner. Seniors can practice and study with their partner at the early stage of learning as they will get funnier moments and experiences.
Last but not least, for seniors, you should not play fast time control. This playing mode cannot help you to practice thinking and calculating your strategies. It will help if you and your senior partner spend more time analyzing each game.
In the United Kingdoms, there is a program of teaching chess to older people. This program follows the curriculum for children by providing chess knowledge to players through mini-games. This course lasts for ten weeks with 1 hour a week, and participants are incentivized to keep playing when the course finishes.
This program is then advertised and sent to voluntary groups, local community centers, GP surgeries, and libraries. As you can see, there are many opportunities to take part in a chess course and classroom for seniors.
Chess Tournaments For Seniors
There are prizes in the Open Tournaments which are reserved for older people. In the big Open Tournaments, seniors will receive a prize that is money. Usually, the value of the award is about 1/10 of the first prize.
The Final Sayings
Overall, there is a variety of benefits of chess for seniors as it is a good sport for elderly people. It is incredibly useful for brain activity and helps prevent some memory loss-related such as Alzheimer’s. More than that, chess helps aging people to be conscious, intelligent, and stay healthy in mind.
Also, it would be better to begin learning to play chess at once. The sooner you play chess, the better your mental health will be. It’s high time to grab some books, videos, and programs to take up this decent hobby from now on.