Best Board Games For Elderly With Dementia in 2021
*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.
Are you looking for board games other than chess, Scrabble, or checkers to play with elderly experiencing dementia? People have a hard time interacting with dementia patients, board games for elderly with dementia can help with their already existing difficulties.
Board games are actually healthy and good for brain for all ages. Reduce the cognitive decline and nurture a positive experience with a simple board game.
What are the best board games for elderly with dementia? Dementia is a condition where cognition and memory are impacted. So, you need to look for games that boost both cognitive function and physical health to keep an active mind.
The 8 best board games for elderly with dementia are:
Call to Mind
Snakes and Ladders
Trivial Pursuit Classic Edition
Playing board games with dementia patients will not only enhance their cognitive thinking and memory, but also help to focus thoughts as an individual. Studies shows that games provide both social and mental stimulation, while practicing the brain and being able to recover cognitive abilities.
In this article, we’ll review the best board games to play for elderly with dementia to help you choose a board game wisely. Depending on the level of game complexity, elderly with dementia can handle the gameplay and still have fun.
With the right choice, you can influence their cognitive activity in a positive manner. Let’s select a board game that will be perfect to play with people experiencing dementia in your life.
What board games are good for dementia patients?
Dementia patients are struggling with general challenges affecting memory and decision making. Tabletop and board games for elderly with dementia are really great to improve health of brain and also lower risk of further decline.
However, it is important to select the right board game to gain the full benefits. These games have different levels of complexity that you need to be aware during selection, and the patient’s dementia progression will ultimately determine which gameplay works best.
Here are aspects to consider when choosing a game that is good for dementia patients:
Players ought to be capable of handling the game pieces.
The game should have visibly striking in colors.
Select large-scaled versions such as bigger playing cards that are easier to hold and read.
Board games should stimulate sensory perception.
It is also preferred to choose a board game that they were familiar with from their childhood.
Select the board game based on the stage of dementia.
Other than these perspectives, try to avoid word-based, complex, time-pressured, games with electronic components and gameplay that requires a lot of physicality involved.
Keeping seniors sharp by helping to improve memory, problem solving, creativity, and other cognitive functions is important. The rate of decline can be slowed with focused concentration from frequent board game gameplay.
Call to Mind is a communication game that is created to connect and talk. It assists in understanding the likes, thinking, and dislikes of a person who has dementia.
It is a family-friendly game and minimizes loneliness, boredom, and agitation.
Developed by an occupational therapist.
Uncover memories, thoughts, and opinions.
Can be played at all ages.
Proven to entertain and stimulate the understanding of an individual’s preferences and history.
Stimulates memories that could have been forgotten.
Provides moral boost and a sense of belonging.
Call to Mind helps the whole family connect in a relaxed and stress-free way. The game is about 40 minutes long and you can easily discover about someone by uncovering thoughts, memories, and opinions in an easy and enjoyable manner.
Snakes and Ladder is everyone’s favorite in a childhood and is ideal for dementia patients on several levels. The colors and shapes are striking and easy to see.
When playing with elderly, it is recommended to use larger dice and pieces to make movement even easier.
Aids in engagement and expression.
Entertaining and fun.
Helps in cognitive stimulation.
Provides a bonding time with dementia patients.
Strong contrasts of color and clear designing of the game board is helpful for people suffering from cognitive impairment and visual issues.
Not only is it a great board game for elderly, but also perfect for helping children to count numbers up and down. Great game for 2 to 4 players.
Simply roll the dice and good luck. Ladder can take you up, but snakes will take you down.
This game has questions in different categories like science and nature, geography, arts and literature, sports and leisure, and also history and entertainment.
It’s a stimulating game that makes your brain exercise and keep sharp. However, it is not recommended for dementia patients at the later stages because it is based on questions and answers based on facts.
It’s a retro-looking game.
This game enhances concentration.
Keeps the memory sharp.
Select from 2,400 trivia questions that suit the interest of your loved one.
Mix in the questions related to their past with the trivia questions to retain their memories.
There are variation of Trivial board games from baby boomer edition, reminiscing, and bible editions.
If elderly enjoy participating in weekly bible study, this trivial game has over 700 questions related to scripture, inspirational messages with biblical figures that are totally family-friendly games to play all together.
PicLink is a game that has a set of 36 tiles that are designed particularly for people with memory impairment and cognitive decline. It is also helpful for people or kids with developmental issues and is suitable for all ages and abilities.
The game is based on exercise that help keep minds limber and assist memory.
36 tiles with 6 subject categories like animals, people, objects, structure, food, and transportation.
6 Color categories include green, red, blue, orange, black, and yellow.
The tiles have photographic images that stimulate memory and motivate conversation.
It’s a group activity promoting teamwork.
Strengthens and creates new memory links.
Motivates reminiscing and arouses creativity.
For elderly, difficulty level can be adjusted by using more or less cards. Instead of sorting all 36 tiles, use only half of the cards from each group or only three of the colors.
This game is designed for people with dementia and also for those with developmental disorders including autism.
Dictionary is a word game that encourages group activity and promotes conversation.
The game is about fooling the opponent’s team into selecting your definition. The winner is the one with the most points by selecting the correct definition.
More fun with larger groups of 8 to 10 people
The Dictionary game is a guessing game that you will need dictionary to start. The goal of this game is to find out what the actual definition of a word is.
It’s a great learning and brain functioning activity game for old people and young children to increase vocabulary.
If you love chess, you’ll enjoy playing Hive because it is a game that improves your strategic skills. The rules are simple and involve memory, the pieces are placed one after another in the gameplay to create a board.
The opposing queen bee has to be captured.
The first who captures is a winner.
Surround the queen bee of the other party while blocking your surroundings.
11 tiles of different insects with each having its way to move that is identical to the depicted insect.
Recalls personal positive memories striking conversation.
It is a mind-stimulant.
Exercises the senses, speech, and hand movement.
Improves brain activity by promoting cognitive reserve.
The Hive is a bug-themed board game that is super easy to learn, but difficult to master. Best to play with 2 player and takes about 20 minutes to play.
It’s pretty addictive game for two players that is not structured by a board, all you need is flat surface to assemble the pieces on to get the game started.
Stratego is a memory and strategy war board game that challenges the opponent to lead their armies to a win. The Napolean armies devise plans for troop deployment and using clever deception to get through the opposite team’s line of defense to capture their flag.
Foster a sense of independence.
Cultivates quick-thinking skills.
Improves general knowledge.
Enhances hand-eye coordination, concentration, and motor skills.
Increases reaction times.
Support and develop social skills.
Increase reaction time.
Update artwork and battlefield strategy.
The Stratego game is perfect for two players with both a classic and original version. The only difference is that the classic game is battlefield strategy, but the new version has Napoleonic theme with dramatic artwork that features two smaller armies making it more manageable for seniors to play.
Stone Soup memory board game is award winning memory matching game that is full of fun. It promotes cooperation and teamwork.
Players cook a soup by matching the ingredients and working together. There are 10 fire-out cards, 24 soup cards, a story, one magic stone card, and easy instructions to follow.
Motivates memory skills and their importance.
Encourages social development.
Promotes cooperation and helping others.
It is a game of togetherness where no one is left out.
Players help each other to make soup.
Encourages emotional development.
Promotes playfulness, a sense of community, cooperation, positivity and self-esteem.
It’s a memory game with matching all ingredients to make soup.
Enhances social, memorization, and problem-solving skills.
Inspires kindness, cooperation, compassion, and connection based on teamwork.
The goal of this board game is for players to work together to cook soup with the right ingredients. For elderly, it will help to develop social skills and be able to solve problems and memorize as you play.
Board Games for Dementia: Conclusion
Dementia is a memory-related issue that commonly occurs with old age. To enhance memory and retention, board games help a lot to improve brain health.
However, you need to select the appropriate board games for elderly to play if they suffer from specific disorders like dementia.
From strategy to memorization focused games, there are various board games for seniors to enjoy. Aside from entertainment, board games help to train and enhance brain, social and physical skills.
The best board games for elderly with dementia are Call to Mind, Snakes and Ladders, Trivial Pursuit Classic, PicLink, Dictionary, Hive, Stratego, and Stone Soup.
When searching for the right board game for seniors to play when experiencing dementia, look for ones that build togetherness and esteem. The games will promote the rejuvenation of memory links and create new ones at the same time.
The board games should be light, visually striking, promote conversation, and on the whole, be fun and enjoyable for everyone involved.