As baby boomers age, many of their previous opportunities for new friendships disappear. Thus most start seeking new social avenues. “Recreation and leisure is still of utmost importance. It is critical to their self-concept and sense of well-being,” says Lynda J. Sperazza, an associate professor at the State University of New York at Brockport, who studies how this generation spends its free time.
Games also help to keep people’s minds sharp but even more important for overall well-being is social interaction. “We are programmed to be social. Isolation is one of the worst things for the brain,” says Dr. Martha Stearn, executive director of the St. John’s Institute for Cognitive Health in Jackson, Wyo. In the fall, the institute hosts a Brain Game Challenge with trivia contests, word games, Tai Chi demonstrations, sing-alongs and other activities.