“Life is more fun when you play games!” Roald Dahl may be best known as a writer of young adult literature, but this quote is true for people of any age. These simple games for dementia patients can bring joy and companionship to your time together.
Have Fun with These Simple Games for Dementia Patients
Playing games with a loved one is a wonderful way to spend time together. Games provide a valuable opportunity for people with dementia to have fun, socialize, and even give their memory skills a workout. At your next get-together, give one of these simple games a try.
The Mystery Bag
To play this game, you need a cloth bag and at least one object that can be identified by touch. Place the item in the bag, and see if your loved one can guess what it is from the outline the object makes against the bag. Next, let them touch and play with the bag while they guess what’s inside. If specific words are challenging, you can encourage your loved one to guess the color or shape of the object instead.
Bingo is a classic for a reason. It’s fast-paced, fun, and easy to follow along with at nearly any ability level. It’s a great game to play with individuals with dementia because the rules are already familiar, and the challenge of keeping track of the numbers and gameplay provides helpful mental stimulation. It’s also a game that can be played in a group, so it can be an excellent fit for seniors who need more social companionship. You can run a game for a group of seniors or take your loved one to a game and help them participate.
This easy word game can be a great way to practice memory and language skills with your senior loved one. Get out a sheet of paper and list all the letters in the alphabet, from A to Z. Pick a topic such as “animals” or “food.” Work with your senior loved one to identify an example for every alphabet letter from your category. This game can also be easily adapted using a whiteboard or other large writing surface for group participation.
Classic Card Games
Did you have a favorite card game when you were younger? Many of the card games we learned as kids can also provide some fun for adults. Games like Go Fish or War are excellent simple games for dementia patients at most ability levels. Playing beloved games from childhood can also help those with dementia enjoy a comforting feeling of nostalgia. You can make the game easier for your loved one with a deck of dementia-friendly playing cards.
DIY Picture Puzzles
If you want to help your senior loved one spend more time with their memories, this DIY picture puzzle can be the perfect game. Select a photo of something representing a precious memory for your loved one, and then cut it into a few pieces that can be easily reassembled. Sit with your loved one and encourage them to assemble the picture. Ask them about their memories, prompting them with details as needed.
We hope these simple games for dementia patients will give you hours of fun. No matter how old or young you are, playing is always a good idea!
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