Puzzles for Alzheimer’s Disease
A puzzle is fun and has a solution.
Put simply, a puzzle poses a problem to be solved. The problem-solving process is a cognitive exercise—puzzles have therapeutic value! We see repeatedly that the stimulation provided by these activities improves memory and brain function. That is true for most everyone who engages in these brain-games. It is why puzzles for Alzheimer’s are such and important part of an overall treatment program for people who have dementia.
One of the nicest features of many puzzles is that they can be group activities. This is especially true of jigsaw puzzles. Picture, for example, a family sitting around the kitchen table, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle strewn about on the table top. These family members are working together to achieve a unified goal. Whereas games tend to foster competitiveness, puzzles can foster cooperation, everyone working for a shared goal, and this collaborative spirit can inspire conversation and socialization.
There are many types of puzzles, and almost all types can be considered appropriate puzzles for Alzheimer’s disease, or for any other dementia or cognitive disorder. It is not the type of puzzle but the difficulty of the puzzle that deems it appropriate or inappropriate for given audience.
We generally associate “jigsaw” and “crossword” with the word “puzzle”, but “puzzle” can also apply to brain-teasers; mazes; logic and mathematical puzzles; paper-and-pencil puzzles, like Sudoku, or the variety of puzzles found in our Senior Smart Puzzles and trivia books. You can find puzzles of most of these types in our store, and all are appropriate Alzheimer’s puzzles.
A puzzle should be fun for the person who is involved in solving it. A puzzle should not be too easy, nor should it be too hard. Puzzles that are too easy and solved quickly are disappointing; a puzzle needs to present a worthy challenge. On the other hand, puzzles that are too hard are discouraging; this is especially true for someone who is struggling with the effects of a cognitive disorder.
Unfortunately, it has become more difficult to get Puzzles to Remember in this time of Covid. Hopefully, we will return them to our inventory soon. On the other hand, we still have a good selection of dementia-appropriate jigsaw puzzles, and they are less expensive. And those we do have provide the same benefits.
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