The Best Puzzles For Dementia

The best puzzles for dementia by Relish

How To Engage Someone With Dementia

When someone you love has dementia, meaningful activities can bring you together and put a smile on both your faces. Finding dementia friendly activities isn’t always easy, but help is at hand. Here, we’ve rounded up our favourite games and puzzles for dementia. These can make great gifts for someone with dementia (either for a reason or just because!). So if you’re caring for a parent with dementia, read on.

If you’ve been following ElWell for a while, you’ll know that we’re big fans of Relish. Previously known as Active Minds, this UK-based company makes dementia memory games.

Like us, the founder was inspired by his grandparent’s caregiving journey and their dementia friendly brain puzzles, sensory games and art and crafts bring joy and connection to people with dementia and their caregivers.

Communicating with people with dementia isn’t always easy, and Relish’s games are tried-and-tested to help.

All their products look premium (there’s no garish, childish colours) and are designed to last. Their beautiful dementia products come in four stages of complexity, suitable from the early stage of dementia to more advanced dementia. And they’re suitable for all types of dementia, including vascular dementia, lewy body dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Relish has been kind enough to send us some of their fantastic dementia games to review, and I’m going to share them here. You can also get a closer look at them in the video below!

If you’re looking for more articles like this, then read our post on calming and stimulating activities for dementia.

Dementia puzzles

Our Favourite Dementia Activity Products

Musical Bingo For Dementia

Research has proven the positive effect of music and dementia, and this musical bingo game brings that to life. The ‘bingo caller’ plays a CD of 20 separate musical instruments (such as a piano, violin and maracas) and each player has to match the audio to the nine images on their card.

Musical bingo for dementia from Relish

Suitable for early to mid stages of dementia, it’s perfect for elderly people who love bingo and being competitive. Plus it’s more fun than your typical board game!

Audio bingo game

When someone has dementia, they often have bathroom issues and incontinence. If you want to know how to deal with incontinence then have a read of our article.

Arts And Crafts For Dementia

Relish developed Aquapaints, dementia friendly crafts that share the joy of painting with people who aren’t cognitively able to paint a picture themselves.

Each set comes with five art sheets which look plain until brushed with water and a beautiful picture appears. We love the ‘farm memories’ set below but there’s other themes including ocean and garden available. Once finished, the painting will fade back to white, so it can be used again and again.

A therapeutic and calming activity that produces a result to be proud of, it’s great for people with mid to more advanced dementia.

Dementia painting with Relish

You’ll also need a paintbrush. Whilst any paintbrush will do the job, for older people (especially those with less hand dexterity) an easy grip paintbrush with a thick egg-shaped handle like this makes painting much easier! Or you can get a hand grip to go onto a paintbrush you already have.

Dementia Jigsaw Puzzles

Who doesn’t love a jigsaw puzzle? Piece this 35-piece set together and reveal a beautiful picture of bathing birds. Suitable for people in the early stage of dementia, Relish’s dementia jigsaw puzzles are great for keeping the mind active.

Dementia jigsaw puzzle Relish

The large tiles are easy to handle. There are questions in the box which act as great conversation starters (such as ‘what does this picture remind you of?’) to improve social interaction.

The jigsaw can be made in the box too, so it’s easy for your elderly parent to view the image at the same time.

Bathing Birds jigsaw dementia

If this jigsaw puzzle is too complex, there are also 13 piece kits available (as well as larger 63 and 100 piece jigsaw puzzles).

Are you worried about your loved one wandering? A personal alarm could be the answer. We’ve rounded up our favourite options on the market, including a dementia tracker. Read our article here.

Memory Games

Relish has got some truly beautiful memory games for dementia. This creative scenes Sewing Box features magnets of everything you would find in a sewing box – from scissors to a thimble, ribbon and pin cushion. The packaging it comes in is the magnetic sewing box. This style of memory game also cames in a baking and handyman set-up.

Memory game dementia magnetic from Relish

Use this memory game as a way to stimulate conversation with your sewing mad loved one (such as ‘what does it remind you of?’) or just let them have fun exploring the magnets. Like with all Relish products, the attention to detail is fab and as it’s been made for dementia patients, the pieces are strong and easy to handle.

Magnetic memory game dementia alzheimers

Dementia Word Search

This book is bursting with 60 dementia friendly but challenging brain puzzles. Word search puzzles are a great way to keep people entertained, keep their mind active and feel proud of their success. 

Relish makes different word game books for different levels of dementia, but they all come with large print so are easy to read.

Dementia word search large print

Sensory Activities For Dementia

We love this tactile Sensory Snap game! There are six sensory tiles to match with an image, all housed in a box. Spend some time exploring the different sensations and fabrics and then see if your elderly parent can find the corresponding image.

Sensory stimulation helps people with dementia focus on the task in hand. It strengthens their cognitive ability and can also help them communicate.

Sensory snap

Card Games For Dementia

We can’t write about the best games for dementia without mentioning these category cards. Split into four categories (animals, transport, tools and food), each card is beautifully illustrated, large in size and has a good amount of weight.

Card game dementia

Depending on how advanced your loved one’s dementia is, you can choose to play snap, pairs or full house. Or even just look at the images together.

Fidget Widget

People with dementia often fidget, sometimes if they feel anxious or agitated. A fidget widget helps them channel this restless behaviour. It’s a meaningful activity, helping them feel busy which in turn improves their wellbeing by making them feel relaxed and calm.

This fidget widget, specially designed with The Alzheimer’s Society uses touch, feel and repetitive movements to engage your loved one and removes the need for rely on memory or words. A good idea for gifts for people with dementia.

Fidget widget

Summary

You asked for things to keep dementia patients busy, and this is our answer. We really think that Relish has raised the bar, providing puzzles for dementia that engage and foster a sense of communication without looking childish.

Mental exercise and keeping active can help to reduce or delay dementia symptoms, and playing together also improves emotional wellbeing. So there’s plenty of reasons to try out these best games for people with dementia.

Find out more about Relish at their website here.

Leave a comment if you love Relish, or think their dementia friendly games could be perfect for your loved one.

3 thoughts on “The Best Puzzles For Dementia”

  1. Pingback: Activities For The Elderly - ElWell

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