Memory games help with dementia

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

One useful tool Interiors for Seniors has observed, memory games help with our dementia clients.

holding deck of cards

Working with jigsaw and memory puzzles

"At first glance, dementia patients decide if jigsaw puzzles or puzzle games are too difficult.

When jigsaw puzzles appear too difficult TO the patient. The KEY words are “TO the patient”, the patient will start to put the breaks on and fear and frustration have begun.

At this point many elderly and dementia patients may not want to not participate in the activity, and many will not want to play PERIOD

It isn’t because these patients are being stubborn, it is because dementia patients do not want to fail or feel embarrassed.

See Also: After a stroke Cognitive Therapy is critical

Watch for key signals of frustration in their facial expression, arms, legs, hands and fingers.

The following are bodily changes caused by fear, which makes it easy to detect, when you are aware of them

• pinching face and arms • scratching their head, neck, face, hands and arms • nose twitching • smacking, licking of lips • unconsciously shaking their head “no” in doubt • snapping their fingers • covering, rubbing of eyes, ears or mouth – “I do not want to see, hear or do this” • jerky movements, wiggling around • tapping their feet • blinking their eyes • placing their palm on the back of neck • drumming or tapping fingers – person wants to leave; can’t quite figure it out • sighs and grunts • wrapping arms around their body – the person is literally holding themselves

Ask yourself these questions if or when you see signs of fear or hear sounds of frustration.

• What size jigsaw puzzle are you working with; does it match the level of the patient? • Does jigsaw puzzle have large pieces? (link • Can person handle puzzle pieces easily? • Is your jigsaw puzzle designed for dementia patients? (go tohightlights • Is the jigsaw puzzle too difficult for person? • Is the jigsaw puzzle, theme or picture age appropriate? • Is individual interested in the puzzle? • Does person understand how to put the puzzle together? (connect to mary • Is person close enough to table and comfortable? • Can player reach puzzle pieces easily? • Does the puzzle have too many pieces? • Are puzzle pieces thin and difficult to pick up? * Are you showing signs of frustration by sighing or lack of patience? • Are you using the word “no”?

Working with Memory Games

• Are you playing memory game as suggested for patient success? • Have your memory games been tested/developed for dementia patients? • Is individual interested in playing memory game? • Does player understand how to play matching game? • Can player reach cards easily? • Is person close enough to table and comfortable? • Are you playing memory games at users level? • Are you playing matching game with too many cards? • Are you showing signs of frustration by sighing or lack of patience? • Are you using the word “no”?"


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