Board games have seen a resurgence in popularity during lockdown as a fun and stimulating way to pass a few enjoyable hours.
Here at the Chiswick, they have been a boon as the Covid rules allow us to play in our designated bubbles. We see smiles appear as the games come out but we also detect a distinct competitive edge.
Our games sessions are a great way to have a bit of fun but they can also play a useful role in keeping the mind active – especially for those residents who have a degree of memory loss. Familiar games can be a useful reminder of times when they played with their families and friends in the past. They frequently surprise us with what they remember.
If you haven’t played board games in a while, now is the time to retrieve them from the loft or cupboard and dust them off. You may be surprised at how much fun they can be and how they bring families and generations together – even if you live under the same roof.
We have a large scrabble board and tiles here to make it easier for players to see and handle. Searching for a word in Scrabble has obvious mind-stimulating benefits but keeping score is also a good way to challenge the brain.
Snakes & Ladders
The ups and downs are fun, handling the counters is good for dexterity and counting the squares is beneficial for the brain in those who may be living with dementia.
Draughts stimulates the mind as you keep tabs on your opponent and work out your own strategy. On a simpler level, just counting the squares and moving the pieces can be a useful memory prompt. Our tough, high-quality wooden draughts set has lovely, chunky pieces that are easy to grip and manoeuvre around the board.
Many elderly people like to play traditional card games such as whist or rummy. Normal playing cards can be difficult to see, so we have large print cards available. They have clear, bold print, are easy to handle, durable and wipe-clean. They enable residents who have some degree of sight loss to play, with favourite games being twist, rummy and patience.