Earlier this year, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory regarding the epidemic of loneliness and isolation, stating that 17% of adults over the age of 65 are socially isolated. A new survey conducted by AARP shows that number is drastically rising, with 32% of adults 50-plus reporting “often or always” feeling lonely or isolated; the sentiment is even higher among the younger population (38% for 50 to 64 vs. 26% for ages 65-plus). To combat this concerning trend, Ageless Innovation, a global company devoted to reimagining how we positively live and age together through the power of play, created the Reach Out and Play initiative. Alongside AARP, hundreds of game-filled events will be organized to rally people of all ages to come together and celebrate older adults, driving meaningful connections through play that is inclusive of all generations.
Over six-in-ten (65%) of adults 50-plus say that playing board games is a great way for them to connect with others. The Reach Out and Play campaign centers itself around this stat, and creates opportunities for older adults, and their friends and families to foster essential social connections and improve emotional health and well-being via gameplay. Through the initiative, leaders in the aging industry will come together to organize and support hundreds of Reach Out and Play Board Game Events around the country. As the campaign sponsor, AARP will be hosting events across more than 40 of its state offices, and additional partners have signed on to host events within their senior and broader communities.
“Ageless Innovation put out a call-to-action through Reach Out and Play to bring people together through the power of play, and the response across the industry has been phenomenal,” said Ted Fischer, co-founder and CEO of Ageless Innovation. “We are so inspired that AARP and many other partners not only understand the value and role of play in fostering connections and improving emotional health and well-being, but that they also helped us to create opportunities for play, ultimately helping us combat the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation.”
The benefits and power of playing board games have been well documented. One study found that people who play games score better in cognitive tests in their 70s, while another study showed board game players have a 15% lower risk of dementia. The AARP survey found that older adults also recognize a connection between play and health. Almost all adults 50-plus (87%) agree that participating in fun and playful activities is good for their health, and over six-in-ten (65%) believe social connections are a benefit to playing board games.
“The research is clear – play is not just for children. It’s an enjoyable way to support the health and happiness of people of all ages. Play brings people together to strengthen social connections and can be a great way to bridge generational gaps in families. It’s not hard to see why the research shows older adults would like more play in their lives,” said Heather Nawrocki, VP of Fun & Fulfillment at AARP. “We are so excited to see people of all ages join together in the Reach Out and Play initiative this year and create stronger bonds in their communities.”
Many of the Reach Out and Play Board Game Events will feature Ageless Innovation’s Joy For All™ Board Games, reimagined classics designed to meet the needs and interests of older adults. The Game of Life Generations, Scrabble Bingo, and Trivial Pursuit Generations feature age-inclusive components, such as easy-to-grasp game pieces, increased font size, and trivia and references that cater to players of all ages, encouraging both peer to peer and multigenerational play.
“For years, older adults across New York state have deeply benefited from our meaningful partnerships and programs with Ageless Innovation, all of which have aimed to combat social isolation and loneliness through the use of their wonderful Joy for All Companion Pets,” said Greg Olsen, Director, New York State Office for the Aging. “The Reach Out and Play initiative is yet another great example of how we can work together to deliver joy and play to an often-underserved community, now through the use of board games and board game-filled events.”
Reach Out and Play Board Game Events will begin taking place on September 5. Consumers of all ages can visit aarp.org/agelessplay to find an event nearby. And if one isn’t available, we invite everyone to join the fun anyway! From senior centers and nursing homes to family living rooms and kitchen tables, anyone can host a Reach Out and Play Board Game Event! Be sure to share the fun by tagging @AgelessInnovation, @JoyforAll and @AARP with #ReachOutandPlay.
For additional information on the campaign or hosting an event, visit AgelessInnovation.com/ReachOutandPlay or contact ReachOutAndPlay@AgelessInnovation.com. To learn more about the Joy for All™ Board Games and other solutions for older adults via https://joyforall.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Ageless Innovation
Ageless Innovation is a global company devoted to developing fun and engaging products for older adults. Beginning with the award-winning line of Joy for All Companion Pets, Ageless Innovation is focused on creating products that promote fun, joy and play while reducing the cost of care and creating meaningful connections for older adults, their families, and caregivers. For more information, visit www.joyforall.com.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp/, www.aarp.org/español or follow @AARP @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.
SOURCE Ageless Innovation