- How stimulating games and activity devices impact people with Alzheimer’s?
- Different types of games and activity
- What to consider when looking for games and activity devices for Alzheimer’s patients?
- Best Games and Activity Devices for Alzheimer’s Patients 2022
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that shows symptoms such as a reduction in memory and thinking. It affects one’s behavior and is slow in onset, progressively developing over time that it eventually interferes severely with a patient’s daily functioning. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease will, as the disease progresses, eventually need help to plan their day.
|Keeping Busy Match the Dots||9.8|
|Keeping Busy Wooden Tangram Puzzle||9.9|
|The Fun and Relaxing Adult Activity Book||9.2|
|Springbok Alzheimer and Dementia Jigsaw Puzzles||9.3|
|Keeping Busy Match the Pins||9.4|
|Keeping Busy Match the Shapes||9.8|
|Active Minds in the Garden Aquapaint||9.6|
Activities and games, therefore, need to be structured to keep the person happy and offer an overall sense of security and stability. This is very important as it can go a long way in limiting behavior like wandering and agitation. Games and activities are also effective to structure time for Alzheimer’s patients. If they are well-planned, they will help diminish agitation.
How stimulating games and activity devices impact people with Alzheimer’s?
Keeping Alzheimer’s patients active in hobbies and interests that give them pleasure is vital. Since Alzheimer’s affects behavior and senses in addition to memory, activities that a person once enjoyed may become frustrating or overwhelming. In such a case, you may have to consider their new interests. Stimulating activities and games can help them;
- Lessen any irritability and anxiety that Alzheimer may bring
- Encourage self-expression
- Stir memories
- Foster emotional connections with others
- Make Alzheimer’s patients feel more engaged
Different types of games and activity
There are so many available games and activities that are specially designed for Alzheimer patients. They can be grouped in the following categories
- Games and activities that strengthen their mental capacity. These can be word games, mental teasers and questions to jog their mind and promote verbal articulation
- Games and activities that improve their hand-eye coordination. These help in combating their dexterity challenges.
- Games and activities to enhance their recall capacity. These can be through using pictures or verbal interaction to trigger their memories.
- Games and activities that forge social interactions
What to consider when looking for games and activity devices for Alzheimer’s patients?
Degenerative diseases cut patients off from not only themselves but others too. Therefore, the key here is the word ‘together’. This means any activity you do with them will remind them of their humanity and the fact that they are not only being loved but also capable of giving love. Furthermore, playing games exercise memory-impaired patients’ mental functions in a low-stress and enjoyable way. Here are some of the key features you must consider when selecting a game of activity device for your loved one:
Duration of the game or activity
Alzheimer patients lack concentration and are not able to focus on a single activity for longer periods. As such, keep the games and activities short. At least 13-30 minutes. But if you find that they really enjoy and are too engrossed, let them be. You can always tell when they have had enough.
Ease of playing
Alzheimer patients get frustrated pretty quickly especially if they can’t figure something out. This is why you need to look for games and activity devices that are easy for them to use and comprehend. Also, because of their mental decline, anything that is not simple for them to grasps becomes a source of frustration for them and they will outrightly reject it. And forcing them to engage in something they don’t want is a tall order.
A good game or activity should promote interaction both with others and their environment. These games are not only limited to patients but anyone in the family can join in and play. The idea is to enable them to have fun whilst benefiting in other ways.
Patients with Alzheimer’s have difficulty with coordination and visual perception and games that create clutter will make it worse for them. Ensure that the game is simple in appearance and has fewer pieces not to cause clutter or anxiety. When done, use plastic storage containers to put the games away. Also, consider games and activity devices that promote proper seating and correct height to avoid strain and fatigue.
Level of activity
Your patient will have varying energy levels and ability levels. Consider a game that is within both their capability and energy level and keep changing as the two aspects also change. You will find that there games that they were able to complete effortlessly in the beginning but after a short while, they no longer can.
Consider the time of the day when they are active enough for games and activity devices. Some would prefer to have their games in the morning when they are upbeat while others later in the afternoon when they are restless and need something to shift their attention to.
Best Games and Activity Devices for Alzheimer’s Patients 2022
#1 Keeping Busy Match the Dots
Designed for people with dementia, the Match The Dots will trigger the memories of your patient as they roll on the table. One setback you can have is introducing Alzheimer’s games and activities that the patient has never had before. This game is similar to dominoes, hence more familiar to the patients. It’s easier for them to relate to the activities and create some fond memories of yesterdays. The tiles are also colored to offer guidance and they also feel good on their hands.
Match The Dots comes assorted in different packs for ease of presentation to the patient in a logical manner. It all starts with a simple to harder matching in line with personal abilities. This allows you to gauge the memory level as the tiles are introduced stage by stage. When done playing, their small size makes it easier for the patient to assist in repacking.
- The tiles are familiar to most people
- They are adaptable to different abilities
- They are smooth and gentle on hands
- They are colored to help and guide patients
- They can be overwhelming to make a selection
#2 Keeping Busy Wooden Tangram Puzzle
The packaging of the Wooden Tangram Puzzle is adult style and excludes wordings that might anger the patients such as the mentioning of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Hence, it is sensitive to patient’s feelings since most of them can try to read the labels. It is both a fun and challenging activity for Alzheimer’s patients and also helps with dexterity. This piece is a decor and comes in a beautiful wooden casing that can be kept on the coffee table. The templates are laminated to prevent any liquid spills from spoiling the game.
The two-sided Alzheimer’s memory games offer a hint on one side and a challenge on the other. The complexity of this puzzle can be adjusted by erasing some lines. In so doing, you will assist to grow the memory of your patient steadily until they complete the entire puzzle on their own. Such games for Alzheimer’s also engage them in active living, reducing boredom and improving their quality of life.
- Easy to adjust the puzzle to create different challenges
- Resistant to spilling liquids
- Ideal for all levels of dementia
- It also relieves boredom and enhances the quality of living
- An elderly can easily master the shapes hence becoming boring quickly
#3 The Fun and Relaxing Adult Activity Book
If looking for books for Alzheimer’s activity to stimulate the brain without being too difficult to solve, the Fun and Relaxing Adult Activity Book is the right choice. It comes with a variety of engaging puzzles to keep the person busy for a couple of hours. It includes activities such as word searches, spots the odd one out, writing or coloring pages. The activities are easy enough not to frustrate Alzheimer’s patients, yet not too easy to make it look childish. This book is not only affordable but also a perfect gift for an elderly friend or relative. The several activities contained therein are also ideal for someone with anxiety problems. Such patients want something to calm them down.
- Offers a variety of games and activities
- It’s ideal for elderly persons and Alzheimer’s patients
- The games not very complex but moderate
- Some activities like coloring can be hard for dementia patients
#4 Springbok Alzheimer and Dementia Jigsaw Puzzles
The Springbok Alzheimer & Dementia Jigsaw Puzzles comes with a wider variety of jigsaw puzzles such that every single game is unique and never repeated. The tiles are larger than for some ordinary Alzheimer’s activity kits for ease of handling and manipulation. This book for Alzheimer’s cognitive activities will assist persons of all ages in strengthening their motor and mental abilities without straining. Every caregiver will enjoy conversing easily with the patient while solving the puzzle by asking questions about the progress.
As the conversation flows naturally, elderly persons with dementia become more social, deepen the connection and enjoy life. This puzzle prides of superior quality with dies of standard thickness to interlock together flawlessly. The material composition of this product is organic, non-toxic and long-lasting.
- Has numerous unique puzzles
- It is made of durable material
- It allows for interpersonal activities
- The tiles have smooth edges to fit easily together
- Too many puzzles can become boring
#5 Keeping Busy Match the Pins
Some early dementia conditions can do with complex and logical games. However, late Alzheimer’s activity toys like the Keeping Busy Match the Pins, offer simple cognitive exercises to cure the memory loss. Designed for people with dementia this product comes with simple and creative matching activities to trigger memories. The brightly colored pins allow patients to arrange and come up with different color patterns out of their thinking. These activity toys are lightweight and simple to use for patients with weak hands. They are also ideal for persons with higher abilities.
Clipping the pins between the thumb and index finger also helps with fine motor strength. The pins can also be used by patients to hang clothes and other small items on the clothesline. In so doing, they become are engaged more physically and making them feel satisfied and successful.
- They are easy to handle
- The pins are multipurpose
- Ideal for occupational therapy
- Offers limited activities
#6 Keeping Busy Match the Shapes
Another choice of Alzheimer’s activity products is the Keeping Busy Match the Shapes. This design has brightly colored tiles that draw attention much easily and triggers the mind of Alzheimer’s patient to react. You will notice patients will get the urge to start picking, sorting and arranging them in different positions. This game allows caregivers to come up with many Alzheimer’s activity ideas. Simpler templates enable the patient to familiarize themselves with shapes and colors. They can then initiate different colors and shape arrangements after every successful stage.
As the memory levels improve patients graduate to mild and complex puzzle-solving templates. More than one patient can participate in this activity in a competing way to make it exciting and to socialize. Larger templates with bigger spacing are also available. Hence, it is also ideal for people with vision or dexterity challenges at old age. This product has been tested for seniors with varying levels of dementia to ensure they find it exciting and satisfying.
- It has numerous ways of performing the activity
- Every stage passed motivates one to pursue the next level
- Comes with bright and beautiful colors for the low versioned
- Some people may quickly lose patience with the game
#7 Active Minds in the Garden Aquapaint
Did you know that some Alzheimer’s Patients can be good artists? In the Garden Aquapaint is our favorite choice for patients who love art. As much as they cannot deliver their own images on paper, this Alzheimer’s activity book allows patients to artistically get a sense of accomplishment. It’s a natural painting activity that utilizes clean water only to paint the sheets and magically produce brilliant images. Unlike when using normal water-based paints, this activity will leave the patient and drawing table spotlessly clean. No mess to clean up after the activity. The book will also dry up within minutes for storage and reuse.
Each sheet can be reused to produce different images. These form of Alzheimer’s brain games also keeps the patient physically active and connected with the environment. Additionally, the patient gets in the mood to start a conversation about the drawing by smiling with everyone around.
- Wonderful product for a no-fail art experience
- It keeps patients mentally and physically active
- You can store immediately after drying for reuse
- Only ideal for mild or late dementia
Cognitive and physical stimulation is paramount in managing Alzheimer’s disease, as research has shown that keeping patients active improves mental functions and can even be preventative of the disease altogether. Alzheimer’s disease requires caregivers and family to engage the patient in healthy activities and games. Compassion and a good dose of practicality are crucial to ensure the success of these activities.
By playing the right memory games and activities, patients will enjoy hours of fun and healthy mental and tactile stimulation. Another benefit of games like these is that they are not only suitable for patients but also their family and loved ones thus providing a perfect way to gather together for quality time.
An often overlooked aspect is that the caregivers and family members’ should enjoy playing these games and activities with Alzheimer’s patients. This is likely to create a sense of togetherness and connectedness to another person, experiences that are regularly missing from these patient’s lives.