MindStart Alzheimer Activities: Offering Unique Gifts for Seniors

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Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia cannot use traditional games, puzzles, or books because of their cognitive losses. Therefore, family and friends may have difficulty choosing appropriate holiday gifts. MindStart offers Alzheimer activities that are adapted to be successful despite cognitive losses, providing perfect holiday gifts for seniors with dementia.

MindStart puzzles have a unique design making them successful for individuals with Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer’s disease affects many functions of the brain, such as problem solving, memory, reading, and visual/spatial awareness. Because of this, the person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia will gradually lose the ability to participate in common past times.

For instance, a game of Rummy becomes confusing because the person cannot keep sort and organize the cards correctly. A standard puzzle is too difficult because the person is overwhelmed by all the pieces that look so similar and because they cannot conceptualize what the final image of the puzzle will be. A book becomes difficult to read because the person has trouble remembering the plot and characters; also, the sentences may not make sense.

As a result, people with dementia may stop doing things. They may watch tv or sleep more often. Some people become more agitated, pace, or wander when they are inactive or bored. A survey administered by the National Alliance for Caregiving showed that caregivers are looking for ideas for easy activities they can do with their loved one in spite of the cognitive impairments; however, caregivers often do not know what types of activities to offer.

The MindStart activity products, such as games, books, and puzzles, were created by an occupational therapist to be easier versions of traditional games and puzzles that are simplified, yet adult-oriented. For instance, the large piece puzzles have only 12 or 26 pieces and the images are bold, with little detail. The games and books have visual cues to aid the person’s memory and attention. All products incorporate common themes of everyday life that can help to trigger long-term memories – for example, baking, sports, and gardening.

MindStart dementia activities offer perfect holiday gifts for seniors with dementia. They provide opportunities for engagement and cognitive stimulation for the person and ways that family and friends can have fun together. They are easy to use, portable, and affordable.

To make holiday shopping easier for individuals receiving dementia care, MindStart is offering 15% off its multipurpose Visiting Kit. The MindStart Visiting Kit includes: 1 Look and Lace card with lace; 8 different, re-usable Word Searches at two different levels of ease, with marker; a 26-large piece puzzle (from a choice of 7 designs); a carrying binder; and a user guide. Offer is good through 12/18/12.

MindStart is a small, family owned business, started by an occupational therapist to provide activities with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, while providing support and education for caregivers. MindStart works with dementia care experts and USA companies to design and manufacture adapted, yet dignified, activity products that are based on common hobbies and themes of everyday life and that provide cognitive stimulation for every stage of the dementia disease process.

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Monica Heltemes
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