As writer Mark Twain once so eloquently described, “Kindness is the language which the deaf
Participating in games, brain challenges and puzzles is a fun and social way for seniors to help offset the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Games bring people together, encourage strategic and creative thinking and suit any location if mobility is restricted. So whether you or your loved one is in a nursing home, or using home care services, or just looking for a bit of fun and companionship, here are a few dementia activities to help exercise the different parts of your brain:
With its origins tracing back to the 6th century, Chess is perhaps the world’s most famous game for duos. With victory relying on concentration skills and strategy, it is brilliant for seniors keen to keep their minds active and avoid cognitive problems. Checkers, as an alternative, has simpler rules for those already impacted by forms of dementia.
Word games are particularly good to engage senior minds, especially Scrabble where players rely on their word recall abilities as well as strategic thinking of which tiles to use for maximum points and where to place the tiles on the board. Help maintain your cognitive abilities, expand your vocabulary and have fun at the same time!
Another classic game known and enjoyed by generations, Trivial Pursuit is an excellent social activity for seniors in groups, as it is a fun way to find out more about each other’s skills and background and helps in building companionship. It also sharpens your recollection skills and provides a sense of accomplishment and confidence when contributing to a team.
Playing a Card Game
Since many seniors have access to a pack of cards and a general understanding of card values, this offers so many different game varieties. Rummy, Clag and Whist are popular, while Memory (flipping over cards and trying to remember where the matched pair is placed) is a simple game for those looking for dementia activities to improve brain functionality.
While this is a formal board game, you can just use a dictionary or encyclopedia if you have one handy. Balderdash is great as a group game, and involves selecting a word at random which everyone has to write a definition for. Each definition (including the real one) is read aloud and players have to guess which one is correct. This game is great for seniors and those who need aged care, as it exercises your memory recall for words you do know, and uses your creative thinking for making up realistic-sounding definitions for those words you don’t know!
If you are craving a more relaxed game that involves some peace and quiet, then completing jigsaw puzzles is likely to be an appealing option. No set amount of time or complicated rules required! As far as dementia activities go, puzzles are especially beneficial as they use both hemispheres of your brain, utilising both your creativity as well as your logic in order to solve them. They can also be completed at your leisure, and you can choose the level of difficulty right from the start – whether it involves a certain amount of pieces or has a complex image. Plus, there is nothing quite like the satisfaction of fitting that final puzzle piece!
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