Dementia brain training is a delicate situation. We must have knowledge of dementia patient’s limitations, problem-solving skills and know the stage or level your loved one is in. That’s just the beginning!
These are the physical needs we can visually access and know where to start with brain training.
The difficult area or “unseen” areas are just as important in dementia brain training for your mother or father to be successful in rebuilding their problem-solving skills.
I am talking about dementia patient’s “feelings and emotions”.
Unfortunately, dementia patients feeling and emotions have been buried for a long time. This why we see only “sad” eyes and emotionless faces, but they are there, just waiting to be awakened.
Feelings are sparked by emotions and ensure long-term survival of self, (body and mind)
Example of feelings:
Emotions ensure immediate survival of self, (body and mind); are Intense but Temporary.
Example of emotions:
It is important to notice the patients emotions and respond quickly, which will help rebuild their self-esteem and confidence.
When / How does Dementia Brain Training Begin?
Brain Training and cognitive stimulation begins the moment your loved one opens their eyes and reaches for the jigsaw puzzle or puzzle piece?
• They must think about the shape of the piece, color and size.
• They must observe and think about the correct spot each puzzle piece belongs.
• They must think about the knobs on puzzle pieces and turn them to put the piece in correctly.
• If it doesn’t fit, they must start this thinking process over.
This process goes smoothly for some and takes a bit longer for others.
It is during this process one may see different signs of frustrations and try to calm patient’s anxiety.
Elderly Have Emotional Connection to Memory Jogging Puzzles
Memory Jogging Puzzles are replicas of The Saturday Evening Post Magazine. The Saturday Evening Post Magazine, Norman Rockwell, Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles and Playing Cards were favorite pastimes of our elderly.
Watching their faces light it, it is like they are seeing an old friend!
Many elderly remember collecting the covers of The Saturday Evening Post magazine with Norman Rockwell’s illustrations and taping them onto their walls. He was one of “America’s Favorite Artists”.
“Hero of yesterday, stimulating the minds, memories and hearts of the today”.
I cannot guarantee that your loved one will be familiar with Rockwell’s work but most relate to his pictures and everyone smiles.
Norman Rockwell died November 8, 1974 – age 84. He too had Alzheimer’s Disease.
Artists: Norman Rockwell & Sarah Stilwell Weber
The Saturday Evening Post artists featuring Norman Rockwell & Sarah Stilwell Weber and others are the catalyst triggering interest and participation.
Choosing a puzzle for your loved one with dementia
• Jigsaw puzzle theme or picture is critical. You must have picture puzzle that will grab patient’s attention immediately and have the ability to keep patients interest.
• If patient loses focus, interesting picture will help bring their attention back to puzzle or activity, without frustrating anyone.
• If you want your loved to participate, you must have their attention.
• If you want to stimulate their cognitive/problem solving skills, they must be motivated to participate.
• Motivation is stimulated with interest and the feeling one can do the task. You and I both know if a game is too difficult, it isn’t any fun and we do not want to participate anymore.
• These puzzles are designed to be played at individuals level for a feeling of pride and success.
• Designed for elderly patients with special needs, shaky hands and limited mobility; to keep puzzle and puzzle pieces visible and within reach.
Keep in Mind
• For many seniors in dementia care and stroke treatment, it has been a long time since they have put a puzzle together.
• Be patient, help them if needed and most will recall what they are supposed to do and enjoy the moment.
• It is important to choose the size of puzzle you feel your mother or father can complete or complete with your assistance during activity time or your visit.
• It is better to have a puzzle with fewer pieces, one your mother/father can complete… than a puzzle more difficult with many pieces and your loved one becomes frustrated.
• Yes, you should help them occasionally, but if you are doing the entire puzzle, you are getting the brain exercise and cognitive stimulation, not your loved one.
If this is the case, you need a puzzle with fewer pieces, even then you may need to assist, but with repetition putting the puzzle together becomes smoother.
One SIZE PUZZLE does NOT meet everyone’s needs
Before you purchase jigsaw puzzle for activities, ask yourself, does this jigsaw puzzle come in different sizes for different levels of individuals?
These features are needed to help meet your loved ones physical and mental needs.
If jigsaw puzzle does not meet these needs, choose one that does for less frustration and more enjoyment for everyone.
When both physical and mental needs are met in any activity or game there is a domino effect.
Mom or dad will be more willing to participate, stimulating their problem solving skills, thinking or cognitive skills, memories and emotions. And, opening up a conversation with you.
Is picture or theme age appropriate for your loved one?
• Age appropriate – #1 need and desire for seniors in Dementia Care & Stroke Treatment.
• Does puzzle have a fun storytelling theme to stimulate interest and capture elderly patients attention?
Memory Jogging Puzzles are large piece puzzles for elderly, different levels of dementia and stroke patients.
Dementia Brain Training with 3 different sizes of wooden puzzles
• 6 piece puzzles – middle to late stage of Alzheimer, dementia, memory loss & Stroke patients.
• 12 piece puzzles – early to middle stage of Alzheimer, dementia, memory loss & Stroke patients.
• 20 piece puzzles – seniors to early onset Dementia.
These jigsaw puzzles with thick large pieces are easy to handle, easier to pick up puzzle pieces and put in place. They build self confidence and self esteem.
Great for elderly, shaky hands, men with large hands and people with Arthritis.
Testimonial. . .
~I’m also pleased with the quality of the cards and the puzzles. I’ve noticed in recent times that, because my mother has arthritis, it’s harder for her to grip things. So, the fact that the cards are on very thick stock and puzzle pieces are thicker wooden pieces will make it much easier for her. Dawn W – Jamaica ###
Lap size Puzzles – 6×8″ fit easily on dinner tray or bedside table. They keep puzzle and puzzle pieces visible and within reach.
Memory jogging puzzles are widely accepted as brain exercises that can help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain degradation problems. Geron Guide Beacon to Better Senior Health
• Cognitive Therapy
• Brain Exercise
• Memory Exercise
• FUN Brain Training Tool
• Light weight
• All images ©SEPS – Licensed images – The Saturday Evening Post Collection
• Made in USA
Memory Jogging Puzzles will give you a positive, fun way to interact with your loved one, in their world. To me this is success.
Example: Are you left handed or right handed?
This cognitive skill is learned at an early age and helps us perform other fine motor tasks more efficiently.
I worked with a 90 year old lady in dementia care who had lost or forgotten this skill. She was in my art class using pencils in both hands, at the same time.
I observed her for a while and then removed the pencil from her weaker hand. This action did not bother her, I told her she could do better with one pencil and she was fine.
After having her in my art class, I understood why she observed the memory jigsaw puzzles as she did.
Mary had a very unique way of observation. Take a peek. . .
We can’t cure Alzheimer’s & Dementia, but I can help you give your loved one “a fun moment in time”.
Articles you may be interested in:
Memory Jogging Puzzles developed the first wooden jigsaw puzzle with large puzzle pieces dedicated to elderly, Alzheimer, seniors with dementia and stroke patients in 2007.
These puzzles also referred to as Norman Rockwell Puzzle, The Saturday Evening Post Puzzle, Memory Puzzle, Brain Exercise and Brain Training & Cognitive Training.
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