Games For Patients With Dementia
Finding games for dementia patients is a time consuming job for most caregivers. Games for dementia, Alzheimer’s or any form of memory loss can range from Alzheimers card games to word games and from activities to improve dexterity to intellectual challenges. Games for dementia patients can provide the mental stimulation dementia sufferers need to stay engaged and alert while enjoying a vigorous memory workout.
Andthe great news is that so many creative games are available that picking out the games you’d like to play with the patient is almost as much fun as playing them! At The Alzheimer’s Store, we are constantly looking for new games for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. If you knowof any you would like to suggest, please contact us. Games for dementiathat we like best include hand eye coordination, aerobics and mental stimulation. All three of these components can be found in the Thumball Games.
The Alzstore offers a wide variety of games for dementia patients:senior memory games
- Games that enhance hand-eye coordination through manipulation of various parts or pieces
- Games for seniors that strengthen mental capacity through word-related activities, mental exercises or questions that encourage the verbal articulation of ideas
- Games that improve recall by encouraging the recollection of memories via verbal interaction or pictures
- Games that forge mental connections through association.
Should You Argue With Someone With Dementia
In a relationship, people tend to avoid debate. Because debate rarely has a good effect. Unless indeed arguing is part of the job. So even with dementia patients. How can you argue with someone who is sick? So, it is better to avoid situations that can cause debate. If a debate happens accidentally, take action to budge. Because if you continue the debate, you only make the situation worse. To avoid debates, you can start by remembering things you shouldn’t do with dementia patients. For example, asking about his memory of something. Because you should already know that the memory function in the brain of a dementia patient can not process properly.
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Can Brain Training Games Improve Brain Health
Brain training games or computerized cognitive training consisting of programs of games designed specifically to exercise memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem-solving have become increasingly popular in recent years.
In 2018, according to the market research firm SharpBrains, people spent $1.9 billion on digital brain health and neurotechnology apps. Makers of these popular brain-training games claim that they can help ward off cognitive decline by keeping your brain sharp.
Scientists remain skeptical about how effective these brain-training games really are in improving brain health.
Few studies can show that getting better at a brain game transfers to everyday activities of daily living, says Kimberly D. Mueller, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
That said, just like playing regular games, it is a vehicle for learning something new or challenging your brain, says Dr. Mueller. Based on what we know about how the brain works, learning new things with repeated practice, or challenging the brain in new ways, can strengthen connections between the neurons, or brain cells, adds Mueller.
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How To Create A Photo Album For A Dementia Patient
I labeled our names under the photo!!
Forgetting names and faces is a common issue with dementia patients. My mother had severe memory loss. Names were slow to come, and some faces were not as readily remembered.
To help my mom remember faces and family members’ names, I created a photo book for her as a gift. The process was not difficult or very time-consuming. I kept it simple to reduce visual confusion. The focus of the photo album was our familythe faces and names of loved ones.
It does not have to be expensive or large.
Computer Calendars: Outlook Calendar And Cortana
- The Outlook calendar and Cortana are Windows programs that have options for pop-up reminders for any of the events that you have added to your calendar, such as medical appointments or social engagements.
- For example: You have added to your calendar that you have a doctorâs appointment on June 29th. The pop-up reminder will remind you of this the day before your appointment and 15 minutes before the appointment.
- Similarly, many cellular phones have a calendar application in which you can add reminders for future appointments and social gatherings.
- For example: You can download the Cortana application and it will link automatically to the reminders that you have added on your computer.
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How Should The Helpcard Be Used
This is up to the person to decide.
Some people like to carry the card around with them discreetly, in a pocket or in their wallet. They can then choose to show it to people if they feel comfortable doing so. This can allow them to keep doing everyday activities while knowing that they can ask for support if they need it.
Others prefer to wear their helpcard on a lanyard, so that it’s visible to people around them. This can help the person to get support from others without having to ask or explain themselves.
Cue Cards To Influence Clients
Some nursing homes go even further by writing encouraging sentences on cue cards to influence the client. For example:
- “Eating makes me healthy and strong”
- “I am going to shower to feel warm and clean”
- “I am going to the hairdresser because my visitors are coming soon”
Studies on the use of such cue cards have reported positive results when shown to clients prior to the desired activities .
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Keep Belongings In One Place
- Although this may not be an easy thing to do, making the effort of keeping your belongings in one place may save you time looking for them and may reduce confusion.
- For example, keep your most used cooking utensils in one drawer and put your reading glasses on your night table when you are done using them.
Stimulating Card Games For Dementia
These five games are best suited for seniors with early or mid-stage dementia but may be too complex for those with more significant cognitive decline. If your loved one has late-stage dementia but used to enjoy playing cards, even holding or looking through a deck may inspire tactile memories and positive feelings. Or, they might simply enjoy sorting the cards by suit or color, which is a relaxing activity that helps with motor skills, memory, and pattern recognition.
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If You Are Looking For Helpful Communication Strategies And Useful Tools To Add To Your Caregiving Toolbox Look No Further A Memory Kit Will Help You Spark A Conversation Find An Emotional Connection Explore A Memory Or Inspire An Imagination With An Aging Loved One Who Is Living With Dementia Engaging An Individual In Activities Will Help That Person Feel They Are Still An Important Part Of Your Life Family Life And Their Circle Of Friends
Memory kits are available for three different levels of cognitive impairment early, mid, and late stage and contain two types of materials. For caregivers, the kit includes a book of strategies to manage behaviors and a meditation CD with resources for mind, body and spirit. The kit for sharing with loved ones includes:
- Crossword puzzles, word searches
- Sensory stories, such as a day at the circus or ball park
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Conversation starters
- Coloring pencils and dry-erase marker for the laminated games
This kit also includes a list of 101 activities to do with a person living with dementia, such as sorting buttons or coins, a scavenger hunt and clipping coupons. There is also websites and addresses provided to order additional copies of the materials to create your own kit.
That is what Beth Kampf of Hopkins did to construct her own memory kit to use when she visits her parents in Rosemount. Kampfs father is living with dementia and her mother is his caregiver. She said her dad, who is in his early 80s, was diagnosed about 10 years ago and lives at home. Kampf learned about the memory kits when they were demonstrated at a memory café session. She checked one out from Gethsemane Lutheran Church to take with her when visiting her parents.
Memory kits can be checked out for a period of three weeks at these locations:
Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 715 Minnetonka Mills Road
Hopkins Activity Center, 33 N. 14th Avenue
Open Circle Adult Day Center, 34 S. 10th Avenue
How To Make Cue Cards For The Elderly
Cue Cards are inexpensive to make and may be tailor-made to the needs of each individual. They are a feasible alternative to hi-tech, expensive tools.
- Cue cards should be in black and white and with or without pictures depending on the individual.
- Cue cards should be written in a large font so the individual is able to read them easily.
- Cue Cards should contain words or short sentences.
- Stick to one medium: stick figures, line drawings, cartoon-like, or pictures .
- Laminate for endurance.
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More Useful Links And Resources
Memory tips & tricks. Alzheimer Society of Canada. An information sheet for strategies to help people with mild memory problems, based on ideas and suggestions provided by people living with memory loss.
All about me. Alzheimer Society of Canada. A booklet designed for people living with dementia to help them create a record of their background and what is important to them.
All about me â A conversation starter. Alzheimer Society of Canada. A shorter tool that provides a âsnapshotâ of the person in order to start a conversation
. Alzheimer Society of Canada. This booklet, informed by the real experiences and advice of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease, can help answer common questions and concerns about living with Alzheimer’s.
All About Me: Person-Centred Care. brainXchange, March 2014. This webinar discusses the importance of person-centred care and how the All about me booklet can help caregivers support the person with dementia through the continuum of the disease. Presented by Christene Gordon, Director of Client Services and Programs for the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories.
Memory Work Out: A “By Us For Us” Guide. Research Institute for Aging. A guide with examples of cognitive exercises to help people with dementia develop and maintain regular âworkoutsâ for their brain.
Leave Your Medications In Plain View
- Leave your medications in a place you frequent, or a place that will act as a visual reminder for you to take them.
- For example, if you make coffee in the morning, leave your morning medications by the coffee machine. If you live with children, or if you have children visiting frequently, put the medications in a place where they cannot reach them.
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Consider Taking Detailed Notes Of Your Conversations With Other People
- After having a conversation with someone, such as a close friend or a family member, consider writing down detailed information of what the discussion was about.
- For example: A friend offers to go to the movies with you and gives you their phone number for you to call them to let them know when you are available. To help you remember this conversation, write down your friendâs phone number, their name, that they offered to go to the movies with you, the date and that they are waiting for you to call them to give them your availability.
- Try and write this down shortly after your conversation so that the information is accurate.
- Writing detailed information will help you remember what the conversation was about, with whom and if you need to follow up on something.
- If you need to follow up on something, use another memory aid to help you remember to do this when you get home.
Use Simple Sentences & Illustrations On Cue Cards
If you have a Speech Therapist available at your facility ask them for clues on how to simplify sentences and illustrations. For instance, if you have a cue card with the word Family show stick figures walking in a park, or if you a show Dentist show a stick figure leaning over another figure sitting on a chair or a tooth and dental tools, etc.
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Memory Aids For Seniors With Dementia
Edited by Dr. Kimberly Langdon, M.D., Board Certified Physician
With more and more seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia than ever before, experts from all walks of life have been trying to come up with ways to help these individuals with their everyday lives. While the world still waits for a cure for Alzheimer’s, many care providers are looking for ways to improve the senior’s quality of life and help them through their daily struggles as they cope with this condition.
One of the many things that senior caregivers have been doing in order to help those struggling with dementia-related memory loss is to start using memory aids. Many have found that by using memory aids instead of simply telling a senior what they may be forgetting that seniors are able to feel more independent and do more on their own. These memory aids can also help prevent issues with frustration in seniors before they occur, by providing seniors with the simple reminders they need before they start feeling overwhelmed by their confusion.
Ready For A No Bs Breast Augmentation Story
This album can be passed down through the generations. All of the pictures are labeled. As our families grow older and children marry and have children of their own, it often becomes difficult to distinguish young children’s faces from one another. This album will provide memories and family information for many years to come.
I expect this gift to bring a smile. Mom and I will enjoy her photo book as she thumbs through each page.
This project can be completed in a day or spread over several days. It was a fun and easy project that I will most likely replicate for other aging family members in the coming years. Enjoy!
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Keep A Central Calendar
A paper calendar may be an old-school memory aid, but it is one that can help any senior with their everyday responsibilities and tasks. Set up a large calendar in the senior’s living space that is in a central location and easy to read. The calendar could even be a whiteboard with activities or tasks listed that can easily be wiped clean as completed. A calendar should include everything from social engagements, to appointments and even when visitors or helpers are going to be stopping by.
The calendar needs to be somewhere that the senior will pass by daily as they may need multiple reminders of upcoming engagements. A good central location is in the kitchen. In addition, investing in a large calendar clock which will display the date and day of the week as well as the time can be helpful.
When a senior is consistently reminded of what they need to do that day, week or month, they are much less likely to be surprised, overwhelmed, confused or disoriented.
What Science Has Shown About Game Playing And Cognition
While long-term research is still needed to determine whether specific games can play a role in keeping the brain healthy and how or if timing is a factor preliminary studies appear to show a link between game playing and lower risk or delay of at least one type of age-related memory loss.
Mentally stimulating activities like using a computer, playing games, crafting, and participating in social activities are linked to a lower risk or delay of age-related memory loss called mild cognitive impairment , and the timing and number of these activities may also be important, according to a study published in August 6, 2019, in Neurology.
Researchers found that engaging in social activities, such as going to the movies or going out with friends, or playing games in both middle age and later life, were associated with a 20 percent lower risk of developing MCI. In addition, the more activities people engaged in during later life, the less likely they were to develop MCI.
That said, study authors point out that the study is observational, so its not possible to determine a cause-and-effect relationship. Its possible that instead of the activities lowering a persons risk, a person with mild cognitive impairment simply may not be able to participate in these activities as often. So further research is needed to investigate these findings.
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Benefits Of Cue Cards For Caregivers
For Activity and Clinical Staff caring for clients with advanced dementia, dialogue can at times become a frustrating guessing game. They must often rely on prompt cards and pictures, dry erase memo boards and other external aids to understand and care for them effectively.
Communication cue cards diminish the workload of caregivers by making the task easier and more pleasant .
Helpful Routines And Reminders
Memory loss can be difficult to cope with and frustrating. However, there are strategies that you can use to help you manage your memory problems and help you stay independent for as long as possible.
The information on this page is also available in print-friendly PDFs:
You can also contact your Society for copies.
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