Discover what happened when late stage Alzheimer patient worked with 6 piece puzzle.
The activity director approached me with a special lady who was in the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease. While sitting her down to the table, introduced me and said “I just want to see what she does.”
She sat there, looking down, no expression on her face and her hands down by her side. As I sat down beside her, I told her my name and put a 6 piece puzzle on the table in front of her. I told her about the picture, pointing out different colors and details.
We sat there for a bit in silence, then I slowly took the puzzle apart laying the pieces close to where they belonged. Then I slowly put the pieces back into place and we sat in silence again. At this time her focus was on the puzzle.
Once more, I slowly took the puzzle apart, this time saying “now it is your turn”.
Visually, showing dementia patients how to put the pieces in place has more impact than telling them what to do. You are stimulating old memories and habits.
As, Chris, activity director stood in awe and me getting choked up, she slowly picked up the first big piece and put it into place.
I cannot tell you how she was feeling but we were speechless, smiling at each other, but remained quiet.
In slow motion, piece by piece she put the 6 piece puzzle together.
She didn’t look up after completing the puzzle, but we praised her.
I saw her hands gracefully lying beside the puzzle, as if she was feeling “I did it”. And she did, took it apart and put it together again.
You would think after 10 years, I would be used to this experience. Let me tell you, I cannot explain the feeling of observing dementia and stroke patients achieve this small task to us, but a huge challenge for them. It is amazing!
After connecting with many of these patients and seeing their smiles, I added the label “a fun moment in time” to my jigsaw puzzles and memory games.
Activities for dementia; exercise for stroke patients
You will connect
The most common phrase I hear is “they don’t know me and I want to connect with mom or dad”.
Many dementia and stroke patients may not be able to express themselves. They may not remember you BUT, they may recall your voice, your touch, your scent or perfume.
Don’t worry about this, enjoy the moment, these puzzles and memory games will help both of you have “a fun moment in time” while patient is stimulating their brain.
see more information: the best puzzle for dementia care and stroke recovery
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