Checkmating Cognitive Impairment in Seniors

Checkmating Cognitive Impairment in SeniorsIt’s a well-known fact that our population is aging due advances in technology and medicine. The global average life expectancy is close to 80 years. Downside of this increase life expectancy is that it hasn’t been accompanied by an increase in the quality of life. Many seniors struggle with depression, loneliness and cognitive impairment.

Seniors are at the greatest risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. Chess being a particularly good brain builder, it reduces risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies have shown that playing games like chess, which is a mentally stimulating game keeps seniors cognitively active. Playing chess also increases social interaction with others and thereby reduces loneliness.

Chess is a fairly easy game to learn and involves cognitive activities such as planning, strategy and analysis which keeps the mind sharp. Playing chess not only actively engages the brain but also improves social and physical wellbeing. Research has shown lower rates dementia in active chess players. Most importantly, there is no signs of dementia among all current chess grandmasters.

Benefits of playing chess

  • Cognitively-challenging activity
  • Provides seniors with a hobby
  • Increased socialization
  • Reduces depression due improved interactions with others
  • Improves emotional health
  • Stimulates all the parts of the brain
  • Lower rates of dementia
  • Improves Creativity
  • Strengthens mental capacity
  • Improves information retention
  • Improves short-term and long-term memory
  • Uses both sides of the brain

In conclusion, chess seems like a treatment for cognitive impairment that really works. Further reading – A game of chess a day may keep Alzheimer’s at bay – The Hindu