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Creative Connections: How gameplay can benefit those living with Memory Loss at Legacy Toys

Creative Connections: How gameplay can benefit those living with Memory Loss

Visiting a loved one with dementia CAN be a joyful, relaxing, laughter-filled experience. 

Socialization and brain stimulation are important for people living with a dementia related illness, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. The challenge often lies in finding activities the patient can engage and is fun and for everyone. With these tips, you can find a game that will continue to be fun in different ways as dementia progresses.

Our List of Top Brain Stimulating Games


Variations of Game Play

  • Standard fashion, with occasional reminders of the rules. Down the road, the game can be played without using the tile holders, but with the tiles facing up on the table. This way, the visitor can help as needed and offer suggestions of which tile to play.

  • Taking turns placing a tile on the end of the row. This method gives the patient the sense of playing a familiar game successfully, since there’s no need for hints other than “It’s your turn to place down a tile. I think you’re gonna win this one!”

  • Building blocks. At EVERY age there's something magical about knocking over a tower! Not a mess maker? You can take turns removing the tiles one by one and placing them neatly in the box.

  • Traditional. Don't forget the original fun dominoes can bring setting up the traditional snake of tiles and knocking the first one over to set off the others...always a crowd pleaser!


Variations of Game Play

  • Traditional. the game can be played by the rules with just a few hints and reminders.

  • Reverse Jenga. Take turns building the block tower from the bottom up, taller and taller. The blocks can then be used to create simpler structures.

Floor puzzles

Variations of Game Play

  • Set up ahead of play. Puzzles can be a lot of fun for someone who is advancing more toward the middle stages of dementia. To make this a satisfying experience, we recommend assembling the puzzle ahead of time. Then, take the puzzle apart, keeping all of the pieces stacked in order.

  • Put the puzzle back together. Once seated at a large table, you can hand the pieces one at a time to the patient. With just a few adjustments to get the piece in the correct spot, they will gain the satisfaction of success with each and every piece. This is a great activity to include the grandkids in!

Be sure, however, to choose a puzzle with a picture that is not too childish. It’s important to remember that people with dementia can sometimes display childlike behaviors, but they are adults in our lives that deserve to be treated with dignity and honor through this disease's process.

Blow up ball

Variations of Game Play

  • Classic Game of Catch. Entertaining and a great source of safe, physical exercise. Have the patient sit in a sturdy wooden chair with arms. Then play a fun game of catch...try not to get yelled at about playing catch in the house!

  • Make a basket. Move around the room with a laundry basket, and have the patient throw the ball into the basket.

  • Trap. Roll the ball from different distances and angles and have the patient stop the ball with their foot, then kick it back to you.

Card & Dice Games

Variations of Game Play

  • Create a game. Make up your own game, based on the patient’s abilities. Keep the rules to a minimum. Or better yet, forget about rules altogether and just make it all up as you go!

At Legacy Toys, we hope some of the guess work or pressure surrounding visits with your treasured family member is relieved with some of these ideas! May this time, though challenging and often frustrating, be a season of unique memories that help you love them in different ways!

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