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Memory Games for Dementia Patients


You may have sought a diagnosis of dementia as you and your family members noticed that your memory was deteriorating. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, memory loss is one of the first symptoms that people observe in those near to them, and which lead them to seek further advice about a potential dementia diagnosis. As part of living with the condition, a medical professional may have advised you to spend time on activities that can aide your memory for as long as possible, such as word and number games, or trivia puzzles.

While these won’t halt the cognitive decline that results from dementia, keeping the brain as stimulated as possible may assist someone to live well with the condition for as long as possible. Trivia games that focus on the area of a person’s interest may prove to be the most stimulating, for instance, if someone loves music from the nineteen-sixties then questions about that era may have the most impact. They can also help someone living with dementia to feel less agitated or confused by what they’re experiencing on a daily basis, as the comforting reassurance of their distant past may be reinforced by the familiar music or events.


While doing sudoku or other number puzzles won’t unfortunately stop mental decline, the brain is a muscle and needs exercising just like any other. Prevention is always better than cure with every aspect of our physical health, and while it’s ideal that people take part in puzzles and other similar activities throughout their life to help stave off cognitive decline, there’s no guarantee that doing so will help prevent the onset of dementia. However, as part of a healthy lifestyle, there are encouraging signs that it may slow progress of Alzheimer’s disease in some cases, and although studies are ongoing. Indeed, according to an article published by the National Library of Medicine in the US, “Sudoku is a good cognitively stimulating leisure-time activity” meaning it’s not only an enjoyable way to spend spare time but can boost our dementia-fighting thinking skills too.
Helping Hands carers aren’t just there to undertake personal care, medication, or other practical tasks for our customers, they can also support with leisure activities too. By enjoying our live-in care service, a carer matched to you will be able to accompany you to attend the hobbies and interests you’ve always had or to discover new ones, making all the difference to your life.


Puzzles are routinely enjoyed by people all over the world, regardless of age, ability, or the medical condition they’re living with. Puzzles also offer an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to enjoy a leisure activity together, without the constraints of language or cultural heritage. We often begin enjoying puzzles from a very young age, and many people will recall putting wooden shapes into the corresponding holes on a puzzle backboard as a child. This could be one of the reasons why we may find puzzles enjoyable as we age, especially for someone living with dementia, as it’s those long-term memories that are the last to be lost which provide comfort towards the later stages of a dementia journey. Whether you’re someone who has always enjoyed doing complicated puzzles of several thousand pieces or you prefer the less-taxing sort, the same article from the National Library of Medicine tells us that puzzles are highly beneficial to our cognitive health, as “Solving puzzles has long been thought to keep the brain healthy and has been shown to delay the onset of dementia.” Undertaking familiar activities may be a source of comfort to someone progressing along their dementia journey and could be something that family members can do together. Completing puzzles together is also something that a Helping Hands carer can do with their customer, which means loved ones get a break from their caregiving responsibilities, safe in the knowledge that the person living with dementia is occupied and supported until they return. With the majority of people diagnosed with dementia being older adults, we offer exceptional elderly care that really understands how dementia affects every aspect of a person’s life.

Card Games

As a person’s dementia journey progresses, they may find it harder to keep up with games and activities that they once enjoyed, however that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on a vital source of socialisation. Depending on how long they’ve enjoyed the activity will also have an impact on how they can follow the game, as if its something they learned to play when young then their ability to do so may remain when other functions are no longer present. To keep a card game inclusive though it may be necessary to adapt it for someone who is struggling, perhaps by using cards that are easier to see, or changing the rules that are followed.
For someone who hasn’t been an avid card player all their life and whose loved ones would like to discover if they’d enjoy it, games such as snap are an easy-to-follow option, especially if they are brightly coloured, clear pictures. These cards could then be utilised to encourage further discussion, for example if a card with a cat came up the person could be encouraged to talk about a cat they had when they were younger. This encourages further interaction and provides stimulation for the person living with dementia, as according to website Relish, who sell card games and other activities for people living with dementia, “Card games are a fantastic way to sharpen cognitive functions, including memory and concentration.” Playing games together is enjoyable for everyone involved and offers an opportunity to prevent loneliness and social isolation too, as well as preventing stress through relaxation and friendly competition! It doesn’t really matter what game you play though as long as it means you are spending quality time with each other, and the game concerned will be adapted so that everyone can play. Getting to know our customers personally is something we pride ourselves on at Helping Hands, so your carer will be matched to you and understand your requirements and preferences. And because we’ve been supporting people in their own homes who are living with dementia since we were established in 1989, we really are the UK’s dementia home care experts. Click here to find your local branch, or request a call back from our friendly customer care team here.