Fun and games tackle isolation among senior citizens

Loneliness and isolation in American adults lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia.  That’s according to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.  
“Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health,” Murthy warns.  “Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight – one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled, and more productive lives.” 

One population that is hit hard by isolation is senior citizens, and the Clinton County Office for the Aging has organized a series of events to address the problem.

Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit may seem like fun and games, but now they’re actually being used as tools to combat the very serious issues of loneliness and isolation in the elderly population.  According to the group Ageless Innovation, nearly one third of all adults (32%) have reported they often or always feel lonely or isolated.  That is why the AARP is sponsoring “Reach Out and Play Events” across the United States, encouraging senior citizens and young folks to play games together.  These events give people a chance to play some newly modified versions of old classics, including Trivial Pursuit and the Game of Life.  Ageless Innovation has updated the games to appeal to people of all generations.

Paul Larson spoke with people benefitting from the games and interactions.  

To learn more about the modified board games and perhaps organize a gaming event in your community, head to