It’s easy to think you should avoid board games for people with dementia. You don’t want to stress them out or highlight their difficulties. With dementia come problems with memory and cognition – obstacles to successful board game enjoyment. However, the right board games, chosen wisely, can actually help. Indeed one study into the use of Bingo with dementia patients concluded that “a simple cognitive activity such as Bingo can be of great value to the daily management of Alzheimer’s patients”.
There are some important things you need to pay attention to. Often in our experience at our care homes in Devon, our dementia residents are also struggling with the usual challenges of old age. Board and tabletop games should be visibly colourful or striking, and the players should be actively able to handle the pieces. This means choosing larger scaled versions, such as large playing cards, can be beneficial as well as using items such as playing card holders. Sensory stimulation in playing the game is important, so you need to make this as stress-free as possible to encourage the individual to stay engaged and play.
It’s also important when choosing board games for adults with dementia that you allow the individual have some input into their preferred game. Many of our top 10 games below are chosen for their familiarity to individuals of this generation. You’ll reap greater rewards when a dementia patient can choose a game familiar from childhood or from playing with their own children.
Finally, do remember that dementia is progressive and therefore what games suit one stage of the disease, may not suit a later stage. The social interaction of playing board games with dementia patients always brings benefits. So, where possible, adjust the games accordingly.
To keep things running smoothly and beneficial for your time with your loved one, and their well-being we suggest avoiding some types of board games. You should avoid:
So which board games and tabletop games are good for individuals with dementia? Here are our top 10.
Board games for dementia patients are not only excellent ways of boosting and supporting cognition and memory, they also allow focus and time to be given to the individual. When conversation can be tricky, board games and tabletop games give way into the discussion. They can also build confidence, especially when enjoying games that are familiar from the past.
At Eastleigh care homes Devon, we have a dedicated activities co-ordinator who organises enjoying board games as one part of our varied and much-loved activities programme. If you would like to discover more about games for alzheimers patients to play, then please get in touch with us today.