Dementia patients often struggle with memory, language, reasoning, and other cognitive abilities. While these abilities exist in ordinary people naturally, patients with dementia tend to work with their daily activities.
It is essential to boost the cognitive abilities and powers of dementia patients as much as possible. While there are therapies and treatments to prolong the decline of the patients, you can also make them perform certain brain activities or improve results.
Brain games are an excellent way to alleviate the symptoms of dementia and improve the quality of life of the patients. So let’s see some practical brain puzzles and how they boost better living standards for dementia patients.
6 Brain Games That Are Excellent For Dementia Patients
Here are six brain puzzles and games that support various cognitive skills and help dementia patients cope with severe symptoms.
1. Word Puzzles
Word puzzles have several types which boost the language skills of dementia patients. So if your loved one is struggling with dementia, you can include regular word puzzles in their routine and even play with them to make it engaging.
Games like Scrabble focus on word formation, whereas crossword games help them recall the words they already know. Moreover, research conducted in 2015 also suggests that playing word games like crossword puzzles, scrabble, wordle, etc., helps enhance verbal learning, memory, speed, etc.
While you can experiment with different word games available in the market, here are some classic suggestions showing proven results.
- Word searches
2. Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles have been famous for their memory-boosting abilities and cognitive development qualities. The two most common aspects addressed by these games are reasoning and memory.
The complexity of jigsaw puzzles might depend on the model you choose. While simple jigsaw puzzles in the market involve placing pieces together, other puzzles also include more of a challenge.
For example, complex jigsaw puzzles challenge the individual to their hand and eye coordination which can be a good exercise for dementia patients. However, ensure to start with simple puzzles, so they are not overwhelmed with the challenges.
Gradually you can increase the difficulty level of jigsaw puzzles as you see your loved ones are making progress. As dementia patients often struggle with recalling things and have poor memory, jigsaw puzzles efficiently support these skills and boost their confidence.
Also, jigsaw puzzles come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and 2 3 dimensions. This will make sure that your loved one is not bored so quickly.
3. Card Games
Depending on an individual’s interest and ability, they can play several card games when struggling with dementia. Games like Rummy or Poker help them improve their concentration, memory, and reasoning and are engaging to play.
In addition, with card games, there is a little something for everyone. For example, if an individual does not want anything complex or a group game, they can opt for blackjack. You can also play a memory game with your loved ones, which can help them recall similar cards.
Several card games are available in the market for people with different interests. However, here are some games that we think work best for dementia patients:
- Solitaire variations
- Bridge or other trick-taking games
- Collectible card games
4. Board Games
Board games are an exciting physical genre, including various shapes, colors, and elements. Playing with such vibrant and unique elements help dementia patients explore new and exciting shapes, boosting their reasoning and judgment.
In addition, some board games also have related cards and images, which help in memory. Research conducted in 2019 showed that about 1091 participants in the study who played board games and other puzzles had a slower rate of decline in the age group 70-79.
If you are dealing with a dementia patient in your house, you can always include a specific set of board games that have shown efficient results in memory recall and slowing decline;
- Ticket Ride
5. Dice Games
Dice games involve a special element of luck, making them fun yet competitive. Some patients who have dementia struggle with cognitive functions like calculation and numbers.
So for such patients, dice games can significantly boost confidence and help them slow the decline of their numerical abilities. However, ensure that you include brain-stimulating dice games in your loved one’s routine, like:
- Shut the box
- Liar’s dice
6. Video Games
In the digital era, video games have replaced other physical games significantly. With the virtual world progressing, video games have evolved so much with the convenience of playing anytime, anywhere.
In addition, video games or virtual games are available in hundreds of genres; some have developed exciting graphics. Brain training games of the virtual world boost attention span, visual recognition, and visual memory through pictures, graphics, and other elements.
However, ensure you are not bombarding your loved one with games too complex to understand or navigate. These games might confuse them and develop anger and frustration if they cannot figure things out.
Some of the potential games for dementia patients are:
- Candy Crush Saga
- Animal Crossing
- WII Sports
Note: Ensure your loved ones avoid games with violence or explicit content, as it can negatively affect their dementia and overall behavior.
Get Help Today!
Dealing with dementia patients can become challenging, especially if they are close family members. The sadness and depression might affect the patient’s atmosphere and the rest of the family members.
However, this might not be the best surroundings for dementia patients. In such a situation, hospice services might be the best possible solution. At red rock hospice, dementia patients are treated with all the professional help necessary and ensure they live a healthy life with their disease.