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How to Choose Board Games for Dementia Patients


Board games have provided enjoyment in many of our lives. But board games are more than a way to spend an evening together.  They have the power to enhance our creativity, language skills, logic, and reasoning abilities and prove to be powerful tools to boost our memories. Choosing the right board games for dementia patients can be an incredible game-changer for them.

If you have a loved one in memory decline, it may be easy to assume that games are off the table. After all, changes in cognition can make everyday activities such as games feel overwhelming. The last thing you want to do is cause stress for someone struggling.

However, the best games chosen at the right time can be incredible tools for dementia patients. Here are some great tips on selecting appropriate games to play with anyone with dementia:

1. Consider sensory stimulation

According to Best Alzheimer’s Products, games with bright, colorful playing surfaces and playing pieces that are handheld, such as cards, are always preferable to board games without these options. Many dementia patients are also experiencing the typical struggles that come with aging, so be sure to choose the larger version of games and playing cards.

Consider color, texture, and size when you are in your selection process. A game that incorporates as many senses as possible is a fantastic choice.

2. Always ask for input

When selecting board games for a dementia patient, remember always to ask them what they would like to play. They will feel like contributors to their experience, and there will be more joy and excitement for all.

3. Game selection will change as dementia progresses 

The truth is that as the disease progresses in an individual, their ability to play certain games will decline. When this time comes, adjust. Still ask for input but remember that some games may fit for later stages of dementia. The social interaction and time spent with your loved one will be just as valuable as the game itself.

Board games are excellent for cognition, but they also help a person with dementia feel special too.

What to avoid when choosing a game

While sensory input is essential, you do not want your loved one to feel defeated. Here are a few things to avoid when selecting games:

  • Avoid games with complicated strategies
  • Games that have a time component
  • Overly physical games
  • Word games for those in the later stages of dementia

Board games can be a refuge for those with dementia connecting them to others around them and making them feel unique and loved. While games also provide cognitive stimulation, improve processing and motor skills, and increase logic and reasoning, they can also simply be a source of enjoyment for all involved in playing them.

The Boardwalk at Victoria Landing is a community created especially for those with memory loss or dementia.

Victoria Landing offers seniors the ability to age in place at a beautiful waterfront facility in Melbourne, FL. Our dedicated memory care community means that your loved one can age in place with 24 hours a daycare to ensure that your loved one with memory issues has a full life in a carefully curated environment. For more information, please contact us today!

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