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Puzzles and Games for Dementia Patients

Introduction

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia cause a sharp decline in the ability of our elderly loved ones to take part in normal fun activities. However, social interaction is really important for their wellbeing and can even help reduce further mental decline in dementia patients.

One of the best ways to do include dementia sufferers is to play games that are tailored for them and are therefore easy for them to understand and take part it.  

It is essential to keep dementia patients active and engaged in daily activities and different challenging tasks as they are helpful for both body and mind and it may be also helpful for some people to slow the progression of the disease.

Dementia sleep issues can also be resolved by keeping the patient active and engaged in different activities that tire them out and reduce the monotony of boring repetitive days.

If you are planning holidays with dementia patients, it may often be stressful to take care of all their needs, but for a family who can easily manage caregiving tasks and can care for an aging loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the stress can be decreased.

You need to choose activities that are easy and simple and that will also help the patient to stay active and relaxed. 

Activities for Senior Interests

It is such a good feeling to find things that are interesting and helpful for your aging relatives.

You must remember that elderly people used to have passions just like you do and it’s useful to find out what these were as you stand a better chance of them responding to activities that remind them of their passed hobbies. Passions like art, music, craft, puzzles or reading are all great starting points. 

It is considered a very effective way to reduce anxiety if sensory therapy or fidget toys are used for dementia patients. It helps to keep the patient calm and provides comfort. This helps dementia patients to keep their hands busy in safe, soothing ways.

Repetition for Dementia

Although it is boring for most of us, dementia patients often love repeated activities. For patients suffering from dementia, their world is so full of unexpected surprises that it’s easy and comforting for them to focus on repetitive activities.

You can imagine that repetitive activities that can keep your seniors engaged can include things like cutting coupons and stringing beads.  

Bring a Sense of Calm

It can be disturbing for people with cognitive impairments to be subjected to constant stimuli.

You need to avoid any chaos and things not properly organized for dementia patients. A peaceful environment can be very helpful for dementia sufferers and even if you feel stressed it’s best if you don’t show that to the dementia patient as they will find it hard to evaluate your level of stress and may feel responsible for your pain.

How to Choose Puzzles and Games for Dementia Patients

The most benefit has been seen with the use of puzzles that encourage the dementia patient’s mental stimulation.

Some of the symptoms of the disease can even be lowered with the help of playing puzzles and you may notice an obvious change in their behavior when you get them engaged in an activity.

Alzheimer’s disease causes loss of memory and a continual deterioration, but people suffering from it still require and benefit from cognitive stimulation that helps keep the brain busy and active. The adage of ‘use it or lose it’ is true and even more so among dementia patients.

You will find different puzzles that are best recommended for mental stimulation so you may select any type of the puzzle that suits and fits the needs of their patients that depends on their interest and also on the progression of the disease. 

For the patients who are in the early stages of dementia, memory loss may comfort themselves with a 48-piece puzzle, while the patients suffering from advanced stages may benefit from a single four-piece puzzle. For additional cognitive stimulation, you may select puzzles with sound.

You may see many seniors suffering from dementia are more focused and not much agitated when solving problems and facing the obstacles by themselves. For controlling sense, there are therapeutic puzzles. People with Alzheimer’s must have an outlet that may help them to keep them safe without the need of a caregiver.

Social Activities for Dementia Patients

To select an activity for dementia patients is not such a difficult choice. You should keep in mind their personal interests even from their past.

For example, if your loved one was an avid reader but now due to dementia cannot read, there are picture books available with limited text or audiobooks that will be just as beneficial.  

Try to engage them in those activities in which they are interested to take part in and spend quality time, don’t rush things. 

The best activity is to keep them busy with board games and puzzles that will help them to use their brain and get stimulated.

The Best Games and Puzzles for Dementia Patients

Suitable activities for dementia patients include:

  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Puzzle games
  • Playing board games
  • Color-by-numbers
  • Coins sorting activity
  • Demanding games like Scrabble

Jigsaw Puzzle

It can be a great team activity to work on a puzzle together. Solving jigsaw puzzles can often be fun, relieving stress for seniors and helping them to socialize, it also boosts visual acuity and manual dexterity. You should choose a puzzle that’s at an appropriate skill level for your senior loved one.

The puzzles you select must be easy and should not be too complex or confusing, try to choose a jigsaw of an image they will be familiar with.

Active Minds 13 Piece Orient Express Jigsaw Puzzle

  • It is highly used by dementia patients. Its overall ranking makes it the perfect thing for the patients of dementia to use it.
  • The plastic pieces are tough, easy, cleaned and they are also infection control compliant.
  • It has a box frame that helps to arrange the pieces and start the conversation
  • It helps to stimulate memories.

Dementia Puzzle Games

There are a number of puzzle games available that have been specially designed for dementia patients to play with. These activities will help your seniors to keep themselves calm and occupied.

Metal Wire Puzzles Activity for Dementia Seniors

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  • This therapy is helpful for the dementia patients to keep them relaxed and calm and ease their agitation that will help them to keep something in their hands
  • It helps to release mind activity,
  • It is a meaningful gift that can be given to dementia patients, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, memory care, arthritic hands, autistic patient, tactile and visual aids, neurological stimulation, etc.
  • This puzzle activity helps to keep the mind fresh and working for the seniors. 
  • There are different styles of metal wire puzzles available that are included with the guiding methods mentioned on the package.
  • They are made with high-quality steel.

Keeping Busy Level 1 (Easy) Word Search Dementia and Alzheimer’s

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  • It is specially designed for seniors suffering from dementia. On the product, you won’t find any label or something that is designed for dementia patients. It is suitable for the elderly with dementia
  • It is easy to read and it helps to use familiar words like garden, food, and weather that the patient can easily recognize and can remember what they learned when they were small. 
  • It contains six reusable puzzles that are at level 1 and is very easy that helps to match with the ability of the patient and it can simply wipe clean and can be reused. 
  • It is adaptable for different abilities. You may see that dementia patients will find a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment after playing with these puzzles.

Track Maze Marble Game by Active Minds

It is designed to improve dexterity and keep the seniors engaged with hands and minds too who are suffering from dementia. 

  • This game is easy to handle and is light in weight with the strong color contrasts that help to support people with visual impairments. 
  • It helps the marble from one end to the other end and again comes back in the fastest way. 

Color-By-Numbers

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Besides the jigsaw puzzle, you can also help your loved ones to stay busy with something more creative like a color by numbers artwork. This is available for use with colored pencils, paints, or a simple water wash. You can pick which is most suitable for their ability.

Coins Sorting Activity

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You can sort coins into cups or bowls to create a fun activity for seniors, and it may also give them a sense of usefulness if you ask them to sort the coins in a certain way, for example separating all the denominations into separate piles.

This activity is especially good for people that used to work with money, for example, anyone who used to work in a store or bank.

Scrabble

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Scrabble is a good activity that can keep dementia patients busy and there are many health benefits from playing it as described by medical sciences. It does not matter what your age is, brain sports are the best thing to help improve mental agility and keep oneself busy.

Playing Scrabble or such board games can be used as a therapy to treat loneliness, depression and the entire social phobia any dementia patient is suffering from. You should make proper family traditions when caring for an aging loved one that may help your seniors to stay calm too.        

Final Verdict

One must help their seniors to play games like scrabble and other brain games that will help to increase and maintain the overall health throughout life and this will also help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease or such an age-related cognitive decrease in one’s future life.

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