Brain Stimulating Games for Seniors with Dementia
Mental stimulation from brain games is a great way to keep your mind sharp, no matter your age. For those living with dementia, brain games provide an outlet to expand creativity, enhance mental sharpness and in some cases, preserve memory skills. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, keeping your brain active and engaged may help guard against mental decline.
We’ve provided five types of brain stimulating games seniors with dementia are sure to enjoy.
Plenty of trivia for older adults can be found on the internet. However, it’s important to find the right trivia questions for seniors with dementia. The questions need to be familiar in a way to help them retain and recover their memory. Though a person living with dementia may struggle with recent memories, they may remember their past well, like their favorite famous music or movie stars from when they were young. They may be able to remember historical events or other aspects of popular culture from their youth. Succeeding at a trivia game can give them a sense of happiness and accomplishment they may struggle to find in other aspects of their lives. This site provides great trivia questions and answers for dementia patients.
The benefits of card games are their simplicity, enabled socialization that comes with it and their proven ability to stretch brain power. It’s important to consider the challenges someone with dementia faces before choosing a card game. They may not be able to see the cards very well, so large cards with a bigger font size are best. When you’re deciding on a game, try to follow this rule: the simpler the rules, the better the experience. Good card game options include Go Fish, War, Solitaire, Crazy Eights and Hearts.
Like card games, bingo is another familiar activity that triggers long-term memory, making it one of the more stimulating brain games for seniors with dementia. Research has shown that bingo provides therapeutic mental stimulation for people with cognitive decline. In one study, older adults experiencing memory loss who played bingo had higher measures of cognition than participants who did not play.
Games like word searches, crosswords and Scrabble can help strengthen cognitive skills and expand vocabulary. Solving them requires you to use your memory; when you search your mind for a word, this can trigger memories, which can lead to positive joyful moments. One study published by the Journal of International Neuropsychological Society found that seniors with dementia who actively participated in crossword puzzles showed delayed onset of memory decline.
Designed to keep people’s minds engaged and stimulated, technology-based games have become increasingly popular and proven to provide positive results. Teaching older adults with dementia how to use a smartphone or tablet may be a challenge, but those devices can be incredibly beneficial with the right applications. Software developers from around the world are creating amazing programs for seniors with dementia, and these apps could have a major impact on their quality of life.
MindMate has become one of the most popular apps on the market for seniors with dementia. This free app features mental and physical workouts, such as puzzles and simple stretches, as well as nutritional tips. MindMate provides tools to help caregivers interact with their loved ones and an entertainment section featuring classic hits from different eras to help promote positive emotional responses. There’s also a diary section for caregivers to help record their loved one’s memories to share with family and friends.
Lumosity is a brain-training app that is so popular it has been used in cognitive functioning studies. Its research-based activities are specifically designed to challenge cognitive capabilities. The app has seven different types of activities, each targeting a different ability. For example, users can test their memory, logical reasoning, speed, and other functions through personalized games. The free version allows users to play three games per day. A one-year subscription is $79.
Let Us Help
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 45% of American seniors 85 and older suffer from Alzheimer’s, and one in ten people aged 65 and over has Alzheimer’s disease. When it’s your loved one who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, you want care for them that feels like an extension of your own. At Lakeland Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, residents benefit from daily programs, socialization activities and exercise sessions, which are all adapted to individual abilities. We are proud to provide secure and personalized memory care services for older adults. We’ll design a custom care plan that addresses your loved one’s needs while treating them with the respect and dignity they truly deserve.
When your loved one needs that extra level of compassionate support to make the most of each new day, contact us. Our team of experts are ready to help.