Written by Active Minds on Thursday the 14th of May 2020.
When you’re caring for someone with dementia, you may notice that the games and hobbies they enjoyed before may not be as easy to take part in. However, being on a dementia journey does not mean that they should not be able to enjoy a variety of games and hobbies. There are many benefits associated with partaking in games for those living with dementia, ranging from cognitive to social.
Making the effort to introduce a variety of games and activities into the persons daily routine can help to ensure those living with dementia get to experience joy, and have the opportunity to continue to enjoy some of the things they have throughout their life.
Here are some great ideas for games that are suitable for each stage of their dementia journey.
In the early stages, games and activities which the person has enjoyed throughout their life may still be appropriate, with just some tweaking to be mindful of cognitive changes. Taking part in games that will provide mental stimulation as well as helping to maintain dexterity, providing opportunities to socialise, and allowing your loved one to have fun are all brilliant.
1. Brain Training Games and Apps
If you love your tech, there are plenty of brain-training games you can download on your laptop, phone, or tablet that can be beneficial for those living with dementia. Puzzles, spatial problems, and memory tests can all be great for keeping minds active.
2. Jigsaw Puzzles
If you prefer things more low-tech, or you don’t think electronic devices are suitable, our 35-piece jigsaw puzzles are perfect for people with early-stage dementia. Each puzzle is beautifully designed with images which can spark conversations and memories; completing the puzzle will provide plenty of stimulation and a sense of achievement.
For those who prefer to be a little more creative why not try doing some painting. This is a great activity for those living with dementia as it involves using different senses and a variety of mediums. The bright vibrant colours provide visual stimulation and as with many other activities, the act of doing the activity is just as valuable as achieving a finished product.
Mid- to Late-Stage Dementia
As someone progresses along the dementia journey traditional games and puzzles might become more challenging to complete. At the same time, using non age appropriate puzzle books or children’s games which have suitable sized pieces in jigsaws can seem inappropriate.
Luckily there are plenty of games made specifically for people living with dementia. Our original 13-piece jigsaw puzzles have been carefully designed to allow those living with mid- to late-stage dementia to be able to enjoy them assistance-free while remaining safe to use and beautiful to look at, with age appropriate images.
If your loved one prefers a spot of bingo, they might also enjoy our brand-new Animal Bingo. Appropriate for both the later stages of dementia as well as for early stages. Animal Bingo was designed to overcome the difficulties people with dementia faced when trying to enjoy their favourite hobby. Numbers are replaced by hand-drawn animal illustrations and sounds in a game perfect for encouraging conversation, stimulation, and fun.
Gardening is a great activity for those living with dementia. It is ideal for sensory exploration and being out in nature has the ability to be extremely relaxing. Gardening also allows for some daily exercise and has many relaxing benefits as well as offering a sense of accomplishment when flowers start to bloom.
3. Reminiscence Activities
For those living with later stages of dementia, reminiscence activities can be extremely beneficial in terms of providing a source of comfort. Things such as creating scrapbooks, memory boxes, listening to music and watching old movies can all help to spark memories and encourage conversations about the past. Bringing up happy memories can help with comfort and stress reduction.
There are a variety of different activities and games which are suitable for each stage of the dementia journey, to bring joy and comfort. Explore those which are the most appropriate for the persons abilities, and preferences.