Scholars believe playing cards date back to the 9th century AD, making them around 1,200 years old. Even as early as the 11th and 12th centuries, enthusiasts were playing with 52-card decks with four suits, though the modern arrangement of clubs, hearts, diamonds and spades came a bit later.
While a deck of cards may not be anything new, it's certainly a great addition to your assisted living apartment. It's easy enough to keep them on hand — they slide easily into a draw or fit in your pocket for toting to a common area. And in Phoenix, where outdoor entertainment isn't always an option thanks to the heat, cards are an easy way to keep yourself and others engaged indoors.
Here are four other benefits of keeping a deck of cards on hand.
1. Opportunities for Socialization
Cards are a great way to encourage socialization — for yourself or others. It's sometimes easier to join a game of cards than it is to join in a conversation, and inviting others to play a game with you is a great way to make new friends. Enjoying games you've played for years with others who are long-time players is also a great way to catch up with existing friends.
Invite friends into your assisted living apartment to spend evening hours over shuffling and laughter. Add some refreshments and light music to round out an enjoyable evening. Alternatively, gather with others in the common areas to enjoy card games any time of day; and if you've misplaced your stack of 52, check with our staff. We often have a deck or two available for use.
2. Keeping Mental Functions Well Greased
Keeping your mind active is important at any age, according to scientists from Rush University Medical Center. And playing cards is a great way to do so, especially if you're engaging in games that require you to try to remember what cards have been played or think in terms of math or logic.
Some great card games to try include Golf and Gin Rummy.
3. Exercising Fine Motor Skills
Shuffling the deck, dealing and even holding your cards all put your hand and fine motor skills to work — and based on the use-it-or-lose-it premise, this can be a good thing. If you want to add other motor skills — and work on your reaction times — organize a game of Spoons around a common area table. You'll also benefit from the laughter that's sure to imbue this raucous game.
4. Something Fun to Do with Grandkids
Keeping a deck of cards in your assisted living apartment also ensures you have something to do with grandkids or other visitors. Challenge preteens in your family to a game of Egyptian Rat Screw to show them you know how to wield a deck, and teach older grandkids to wager up in poker or strategize in Gin.
Whether you like your card games with chips, spoons or just good conversation, you'll never run out of entertainment options when you keep a deck on hand.