Games, including crosswords, cards, and puzzles, are activities that can be useful for individuals with dementia. Often occurring in the elderly, dementia is a condition that affects a person's mental functioning. Not simply a normal part of getting older, dementia causes an individual to become disorientated, which impedes on daily life. Keeping mentally active can enhance vitality and increase brain cells. Many games for dementia patients can delay or temporarily dispel the condition by keeping individuals focused.
Crossword puzzles and other word games can keep dementia patients busy for hours. The puzzles found daily in the newspaper challenges individuals to recall trivia and dates while also testing one’s vocabulary. Dementia patients do not always have to rely on the puzzles found in the papers. Crossword puzzles with a theme geared to a person’s interests can also keep an individual active and mentally sharp.
Similar to crosswords, Sudoku enhances a person’s brain power. However, instead of testing one’s vocabulary, Sudoku is a popular number-placement puzzle that combines math skills with logical thinking. Like crossword puzzles, Sudoku varies in skill levels.
Cards are games for dementia patients to also play. Playing cards can assist dementia patients as games require concentration, logic, and simple math skills. Card games also test a dementia patient’s ability to sort and match. Some easy card games to play include war, old maid, solitaire, and crazy eights. Card games that require higher levels of thinking include cribbage, bridge, and hearts.
Jigsaw puzzles are also useful games for dementia patients. Puzzles are an activity that require individuals to piece shapes to form a picture. Putting pieces together requires dexterity, logic, and coordination. The severity of a person’s dementia is will determine how many pieces he can handle.
Bingo is a popular game for seniors with or without dementia. For individuals with dementia, bingo is an easy game to play, as it is played at a relatively slow pace and numbers are often repeated. Bingo aids dementia patients with their concentration and ability to recognize numbers. In addition, the game can be played with many people, providing a social outlet.
Games for dementia patients can also include dominoes, checkers, and chess. These popular games need individuals to use tactical thinking. Depending on a person’s level of dementia, chess may not be an option because of the complexity of the rules.