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June 8, 2021

The Surprising Benefits of Trivia Games for Older Adults

As we get older, it becomes increasingly important to fortify not only our bodies, but also our minds. One easy and fun way to accomplish this is by playing trivia games. Trivia is loads of fun, and it comes with some brilliant mental and social benefits. 

These days, trivia can take many forms. Whether it’s a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit at home, a lively trivia night at the pub, or just some solo internet games, one thing remains the same: the universal thrill of correctly answering obscure questions in a friendly, competitive environment. (Winning doesn’t hurt, either.)

If you need further persuading, here are some ways that older adults can benefit from playing trivia games.

Benefit # 1: Trivia is fun!

Health and wellness benefits aside, trivia is a great activity for seniors for one very simple reason: It’s fun! 

According to Healthline, experts maintain that trivia players experience a pleasant rush of dopamine when they know the answer to a question. This surge of feel-good chemicals in the brain is similar to what a person might feel while gambling. Unlike gambling, however, trivia doesn’t come with any negative consequences like addiction or financial distress. 

Even if your loved one is experiencing signs of dementia, they can excel at trivia games. For people with dementia, retrieving short-term memories can be difficult, whereas older memories are often recalled with great detail. So while your loved one may have a hard time remembering what he or she ate for breakfast, they might easily recall which year the Beatles released Rubber Soul (1965, FYI.)

Answering trivia questions can be extraordinarily validating for individuals who struggle with other everyday areas of life. It offers participants a boost of confidence and a sense of accomplishment, something most of us could use more of. 

Benefit # 2: Trivia enhances memory.

Your brain is a muscle, and just like the rest of the muscles in your body, it needs exercise to stay in tip-top shape. Think of trivia like a workout for your mind. It exercises the brain’s frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for memory function. This, in turn, improves cognitive skills and problem-solving abilities. 

Research shows that people who participate in mentally and socially stimulating activities enjoy greater cognitive function than those who don’t. Delivering obscure facts about niche topics is an effective way to give your brain a boost while warding off the progression of age-related memory loss. 

Trivia is as much about gaining new knowledge as it is about recalling old bits of information. Naturally, there will be questions that leave participants stumped. Learning the correct answers to these questions helps to keep our brains functioning optimally. 

Benefit # 3: Trivia reduces stress.

Getting older can be stressful, and if you’re dealing with the effects of dementia, age-related stress can be cruelly compounded. Left unchecked, stress can wreak havoc on our health, so it’s important to keep it under control. A fun game of trivia with friends can be the perfect antidote. 

Getting together with friends in a relaxed environment is a great way to blow off steam and boost your happiness. Trivia encourages players to put down their phones for a couple of hours and just enjoy the moment. You really can’t beat that.

Benefit # 4: Trivia connects people.

Of course, we can’t overlook the social aspect of playing trivia games. For adults struggling with feelings of isolation, this is perhaps the most valuable element of trivia. Trivia offers participants a change of scene and the opportunity to socialize with friends. Playing on a team also gives people a valuable sense of community and camaraderie.

A bit of friendly competition can be beneficial as well. It encourages your loved one to challenge themself and try something new. You don’t need to sign up for a pub night to accomplish this, either. Virtual trivia or interactive online trivia can also provide the chance to connect. 

Where to Find Trivia Games for Older Adults

If you or a loved one is interested in playing trivia, there’s no shortage of places to find appropriate games. You can choose from an endless number of topics, depending on your personal interests and areas of expertise. 

Here are some trivia games that may appeal to older adults:

  • Trivia board games: We all know and love Trivial Pursuit. Why not test your knowledge with a Baby Boomer Edition? This version is perfect for older adults who like to reminisce about the “good ol’ times.”

  • Online trivia games: For older adults who are comfortable using a computer, the internet is filled with trivia game options. Check out Luminosity or Suddenly Senior, a site packed with nostalgic quizzes that will test your loved one’s knowledge.

  • Trivia books: Stimulate your mind with books like Trivia for Seniors, which present 100 quizzes catered specifically to older adults. There’s also Trivia A to Z For Seniors and The Baby Boomer Trivia Book.

Purposeful Activities at Provision Living

Playing trivia is just one of the many ways older adults can strengthen their memory. At Provision Living, residents enjoy an array of engaging and mentally stimulating activities. To learn more about how our community promotes mental wellness, speak with one of our care consultants today.