Games, including board, card, or puzzles, are a great way to engage someone with dementia, and even comes with a range of health benefits.
Finding activities that are suitable for a patient suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s is a task that many caregivers struggle with. Although dementia is a disease affecting the brain, the individual who suffers from dementia is still as active and capable as ever – they just struggle with their memory. It is important to maintain not only health, but a quality of life, and so finding suitable activities to engage the brain is incredibly important. Games, both digital and physical, have been shown to be fantastic for dementia sufferers.
Firstly, games provoke cognitive stimulation. Whether it’s remembering cards or shapes, challenging a player, or chasing an object, studies have repeatedly shown that the brain is as engaged in someone with dementia as a healthy brain when playing a game. This is akin to a workout for the brain, and aids to slow the cognitive decline that a brain with dementia is going through.
Games can sometimes engage us with others. Multi-player games, such as cards, bingo, or board games, can facilitate ‘together time’. Where ordinary conversation topics have become too challenging to follow and frustrating for a person with dementia, playing a fun game can help them relax and focus.
Some games are for individual players, and can be a great exercise for cognitive function as well as an enjoyable activity. No person with dementia deserves to ‘sit around’, but while many of their old favourite pastimes may no longer be possible on their own, playing a game is very rewarding and can be done from their living room or care home. In the past few years, an incredible amount of computer and tablet games have come out specifically designed for seniors with dementia, even if they have never been very technologically inclined before. Because tablet computers have been designed specifically to be intuitive and easy to use, many seniors have found them to be a useful and enjoyable companion.
If you are looking for games for your senior loved one, search for providers that have developed games specially for seniors and dementia sufferers. In this age of technology as well as dementia research, we are very lucky to have store shelves brimming with solutions.