Interacting with loved ones who have symptoms of dementia can be challenging. However, there are lots of activities that you can do with them to have fun while stimulating their cognitive functions!
When most people think of dementia, they just think it means memory loss. However, dementia is a disease that affects aging loved ones by attacking their cognitive functions. For some, their speech may become impaired, certain muscle movements become difficult, social skills suffer, and for many, depression sets in.
But don't lose hope!
A new study published by The School of Computer and Communication Engineering, University of Science and Technology, Beijing, has promising results on the correlation between dementia and playing games.
Serious Games for Dementia Care (SGDC) is a field of study that is growing rapidly. Games are divided into three categories: board games, video games, and virtual reality games. Games are being developed to specifically target areas of the brain that are affected by dementia. You can read the full article here. Many common household games have been shown to provide wonderful therapy for aging loved ones.
Here's a list of some of our residents' favorite games that also help to stimulate brain function!
Studies have shown that seniors suffering from dementia benefit the most from this game, due to the easy rules and just enough stimulation to hold attention. Bingo is also a wonderful game to bring together a crowd of seniors with varying abilities.
Dominoes are definitely a favorite of our residents! The black and white design helps to stimulate the mind, and the small shape is easy to manipulate on the table. Any games that bring back memories of days gone by are the most popular! Children and grandchildren can learn this one pretty easily, too!
3. Card Games
With so many card games to choose from, finding a game to play together shouldn't be too hard! The simple colors and number/letter identification make this a great choice for mental stimulation. Keep the games simple, and stay away from those that require bluffing.
4. Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are a great choice to help to strengthen hand-eye coordination. They can be used in a group for extra socialization, or alone when that is more appropriate. Puzzles with images of loved ones can be fun for the whole family to join in. Repetitive motion helps improve muscle tone and the small piece size strengthens fine motor skills!
5. Wii Sports
Who knew video games could also benefit grandparents?
Wii Sports in particular has been shown to improve many symptoms of dementia.
While bowling and golf are the most popular amongst seniors, the Wii Sports package offers many options to stimulate the mind and improve hand-eye coordination. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be eager to play a few rounds against Grandma or Grandpa!
For more ideas on activities to play with your favorite senior citizen, check out our Facebook page here and see what fun our residents have been up to!