Poker for Seniors and People with Disabilities: What Are the Benefits?

Poker is not just a fun game, but also one with great mental and health benefits. Read on to find out more about this game and how it’s beneficial to senior citizens and people with disabilities.

People with Disabilities
Playing cards has wonderful advantages for people with disabilities, especially if they have cognitive deficits. The possibilities are unlimited: when playing cards you have to count, match, recognize numbers, evaluate shapes and patterns and also use the basic arithmetic of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. An example: If someone with a photographic memory finds it easier to solve addition problems with cards, he can grasp both the numbers and their quantity.

People with disabilities can also train their memory and master the complicated games with increasing success, in which the players always have to keep an eye on the processes. With regular practice you can develop your strategic skills, act with foresight, predict potential results and develop a plan.
The development of social skills is a major advantage for all people with disabilities who like to play cards. If you are shy or afraid of social closeness, you get an easy opportunity for real interaction. At the same time, you don’t have to go too far out of your social role when playing. It’s perfect for learning social rules such as taking turns or following certain rules and resisting the temptation to play dishonestly. By focusing on the sequence of cards played during a game like Bridge, you can even perfect your concentration.

And finally, playing cards can boost your self-confidence. It is entertaining and at the same time an opportunity to develop skills and to impress your friends. You can even improve your skill. This can be particularly beneficial for people with limited mobility in the arms and hands.

Relatives and friends can play an important role in helping their friends and family members with disabilities become more confident with their hobby of playing cards. Increase their confidence and verbal abilities at the same time: Let them teach you a card game or get tips on how you can do better in a game you already know. If you play regularly with each other, you can not only deepen your relationship, but also escape everyday life. People with disabilities have little control over their lives throughout the day. However, when you play card games, the rules are the same for everyone and the playing field belongs to everyone. You have the opportunity to win against everyone regardless of physical or cognitive requirements. This can be the case with games, where you have become very good, a significant increase in quality of life. You have proven yourself to be an equal opponent to all other players.
The cognitive advantages of playing cards are particularly noteworthy among the elderly. A person can train their brain in problem solving or improve their memory performance by practicing “concentration”. It is an entertaining mental stimulation that can be done with others or alone, regardless of time and place. All people with impaired dexterity or vision can use special cards to make playing easier. Playing cards cannot prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, but it stimulates the brain on a regular basis and could therefore delay the occurrence of symptoms and help people to maintain their functionality to a greater extent.
Card games can even be useful for people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Isolation is one of the main problems. By playing cards, those affected can form social bonds with other people in an open and positive way. It can be very easy to find your favorite partner for a game of gin rummy – or a group for a weekly round of hearts. Taking part in a family activity can not only alleviate the worries and irritations of many Alzheimer’s patients, but also induce pleasant memories from the past. For example, this could be an evening game of cribbage between mother and father, so that you can perceive a pleasant memory while playing.

In addition to the cognitive and mental stimulations and the reassuring feeling of recognizing order in a deck of cards, there are numerous other advantages of playing cards as a hobby. Whether you’re learning card playing for the first time or picking up an old hobby from your youth, you don’t have to be afraid to start from scratch and then improve. Remember: Your goal is to relax and recuperate!