Games for people with Alzheimer’s can be low-tech, high-tech, or anything in between. Every care community in the world probably has a Bingo game – and that’s about as low tech as you can get – yet Bingo has been shown to have positive effects when played by Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients.
One study reported in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia found that playing Bingo specifically provides mental stimulation that is highly therapeutic. Patients participating in the study performed significantly better on measures of cognition. Staff members reported increases in alertness and in awareness in the test subjects for hours after testing.
Bingo was chosen in the above study because it is so well known. Most people have played it at one time or another. But there is nothing magical about Bingo. Any game that provides cognitive stimulation should produce similar results. Choose a game for and adapt the game to the level and the abilities of the person or people who are playing. As Alzheimer’s progresses a strategy game can become a matching activity. A matching game can become a stimulus for conversation.
Read more about the benefits of Bingo, and game-playing in general.