Chestnut Ridge Blog: Folks just want to have fun.

We’ve all read too many articles and blog posts to count. So it’s refreshing to find something that offer alternative resources. Specifically, we’re excited about games.

Best Alzheimer’s Products is a website that has earned international recognition for its positive impact on people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

John Schmid, a co-developer of the website, writes, “I came across a study in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia. The authors reported that … individuals participating in the study who played Bingo performed significantly better on measures of cognition than participants who did not play. Staff members reported increases in alertness and awareness in the test subjects, and this effect lasted for hours after testing was complete.”

Chestnut Ridge is proud to offer a variety of activities designed to enrich the lives of our residents. The art classes, card games and more (including Bingo!) certainly provide opportunities for socialization. After all, developing relationships with other residents through these activities is a wonderful benefit of living in an independent living community.

But more importantly, activities and games stimulate the brain. Whether your loved one is miles away or lives with us in our community in Chester, PA, games are a perfect, friendly-for-everyone activity throughout the holiday season.

These are just a few suggestions that are beneficial and fun for everyone involved.

This game, featuring large wooden tiles with a variety of colors and shapes, is ideal because of the many, many ways it can be enjoyed. Similar to dominoes, the ultimate goal for each player is to get rid of his or her pieces by matching, in this case, the shape or color. The visually stimulating design provides a tactile experience, whether players technically follow every rule or simply use it by themselves to match patterns.

The flexibility that this single game is able to provide is brilliant. As someone grows older and advances in the stages of Alzheimer’s, Qwirkle is just one more activity that can provide a consistent sense of enrichment and purpose.

Shake Loose A Memory is one game in a collection of card games that encourage players of all ages and abilities to talk and remember. Questions such as “Do you prefer dill pickles or sweet pickles?” and “Did your father wear glasses, or did he have good eyesight?” prompt stories, even from people in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s.

In nursing homes and memory care facilities, it can be common to find games meant for children. Even Schmid’s website sells games and activities that were originally intended for a much younger audience, though the company is very careful to avoid anything that looks too juvenile and doesn’t have a beneficial purpose. However, Connect is a matching game developed specifically for adults with memory issues.

Not all games are created equally.

Find an option that incorporates colorful objects that can be handled, such as dice or cards. Sensory stimulation is vital; this includes using the brain and body! Oversized version of LEGOs, Dominoes and Bananagrams may also encourage participation with their familiarity and ease of use. And the best part? Everyone in the family will want to play.

Not everything is a game, of course. Products like this Simple Music Player give the opportunity for users to continue enjoying lifelong hobbies through careful, intuitive design.

The continual evolution of research and products related to memory care is inspiring! Our loved ones have an ever-growing supply of resources that have been specifically designed with them in mind. Follow Best Alzheimer’s Products for more activities, games and tips that will ensure life stays fun.

Fun, after all, is a very worthy goal. Play on!