People of all ages love a fun trivia night. However, these types of events can be especially enjoyable for older folks, who need all the mental stimulation they can get.
Throughout this article, I’ll discuss the many benefits of playing trivia games. By the end of the read, you might even think of enjoying a round of trivia or two yourself.
These are 16 reasons why trivia games are beneficial for seniors. They:
1. Keep the Mind Active
Trivia games have often been regarded as a “brain exercise.” They stimulate mental activity by making people recall obscure facts, sometimes under time pressure. During seniorhood, people’s memory recall and mental activity start to slow; however, this can be prevented by keeping the mind active, especially through trivia games, puzzles, and other activities.
2. Enhance Cognitive Skills
Cognitive skills refer to your brain’s ability to retain, recall, process, and apply information. A byproduct of keeping the mind active through trivia games is the enhancement of cognitive skills.
Seniors, who find it harder to remember and recall information over time, can rely on mind games to practice their cognitive skills. Trivia games induce them to tap into their long-term memory so they can find answers. They also retain new knowledge tidbits shared by other players.
3. Improve Memory Recall
Trivia games rely a lot on passive participation. This means that players, including seniors, depend on the pool of knowledge they have already accumulated. But to access that knowledge, their ability to recall information must be maintained, if not improved.
Trivia games push people to remember as much information as they can to be able to answer a question and, ultimately, win the round. The thrill, fun, and satisfaction of playing are incentives that motivate them to improve their memory recall.
4. Encourage Dopamine Release
We all know dopamine as the happy drug or chemical released by our brain when we’re having fun. According to a Healthline article, playing trivia games encourages people’s brains to release dopamine. In a way, it leads them to get hooked on the game.
However, the process does not lead to dangerous types of addiction like other dopamine-inducing activities (e.g., drugs). Thus, seniors get all the fun and dopamine but without the negative aspect of addiction.
5. Prevent Stress
Even seniors have stressful or anxious thoughts. The more they get preoccupied with them, the more stressed they get. Playing trivia games is a way to distract or relieve them of these stressors, preventing further anxiety and encouraging them to focus on the fun. The process may even lead to them having better stress management and emotional regulation.
6. Mitigate Dementia
Dementia occurs when memory recall, decision-making, thinking, and reasoning skills are affected. In short, a person’s cognitive skills are hampered, affecting their personal lives. The illness affects seniors, especially those 85 years old and above, but should be considered a normal part of aging.
While dementia is an unfortunate condition that affects seniors and their families, there’s a way to help slow down some of its effects, such as memory loss. Playing memory games, such as trivia, helps keep the brain active, exercising their ability to recall and retain information.
While research is yet to be conclusive, there is a good indication that brain games, like trivia, help seniors prevent or deal with the effects of dementia.
7. Provide an Opportunity To Socialize
Many seniors feel lonely when left alone with no one to associate with. Playing trivia games is a way for them to socialize with their families, friends, or even strangers. The activity makes for an excellent opportunity for them to bond with one another without being physically exerting.
8. Expand Knowledge
Anyone, not just seniors, benefits from the sharing of knowledge that goes on during trivia games. While playing, you’ll be surprised to learn that some of your playmates are experts at butterfly facts or cheese connoisseurs. Soon, your knowledge will inevitably expand too.
9. Might Help Improve IQ
IQ stands for intelligence quotient. It’s an indicator of your relative intelligence. While playing trivia games does not automatically lead you to become smarter or have a higher IQ, it does sharpen your cognitive skills and expands your knowledge. These may eventually help people improve their IQ.
10. Showcase Knowledge
Over time, we accumulate a lot of obscure fun facts that don’t have a lot of practical application. With all their life experiences, seniors are highly likely to have their treasure trove of knowledge tidbits yet to be shared.
Trivia games provide them with an opportunity to share all the learnings they have accumulated through life. They make for a safe place to reveal their interests and undiscovered expertise.
11. Allow for Mental Cross-Training
Mental cross-training refers to how our brains juggle information on various subjects. While playing trivia games, you don’t just focus on one familiar specialty.
Trivia games often cover a broad range of topics, such as animals, movies, pop culture, music, celebrities, and history. This variety makes it an exercise that sharpens your mind’s ability to course through all the information you have had and also retain knowledge from subjects not familiar to you.
12. Increase Confidence
Finding the correct answer to a trivia question boosts self-esteem. Playing these games allows seniors to build self-confidence as they present their knowledge in certain areas. It also allows them to gain confidence to interact with other people, such as other residents in a nursing home.
13. Provide Satisfaction
Aside from the self-esteem boost, players also get satisfaction from playing trivia games, especially when they know and provide the correct answers.
Trivia games are incredibly validating for seniors who struggle with short-term memory, like recalling what they had for breakfast, but have their long-term memory, such as information on the movie stars of their generation, intact.
Many seniors may struggle to find this sense of achievement and satisfaction in other activities. However, through trivia, they can showcase their wit and even experience some nostalgia without much difficulty.
14. Stimulate Interests
We enjoy activities that interest us or cover our interests. Since trivia games cover many topics, they also encompass many interests, including those of seniors.
These interests encourage them to be more participative and attentive to the game. Not only would they be more confident to answer questions, but they may also be more likely to retain other knowledge shared on the topic.
Thus, the activity becomes an efficient way to exercise cognitive skills.
15. Are Easy To Play
As we grow older, the activities we can do become limited. Most seniors can’t play sports, like basketball or soccer, because they are physically exerting. They also can’t travel to many places for fun because it could be more of a hassle.
While they may have physical barriers, most seniors are still eager to be mentally stimulated through brain games, puzzles, and trivia. These games aren’t too demanding for them.
Trivia games are easy to play because they don’t involve much physical effort. Instructions are often straightforward or already familiar to them. They don’t have to invest or exert anything to have fun playing a trivia game.
16. Are a Source of Entertainment
Of course, a primary benefit many people, not just seniors, can get from trivia games is the fun it provides. However, trivia games may mean more for seniors. The game is a way for them to socialize, showcase wit, bond, and learn from others without being hindered by their physical limitations.
Trivia games help pass the time, which many seniors have now that they are retired. The game draws them together and helps prevent loneliness, which many of them are anxious about.