Are Card Games Good for Dementia Patients?

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By Eric Wilson

Dementia is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to function properly. It leads to a decline in cognitive function, memory loss, and difficulty in performing daily activities. It is a challenging condition that affects not only the patient but also their caregivers and loved ones.

There are various therapies and interventions that can help in managing dementia symptoms. One such intervention is playing card games.

Card games have been found to have numerous benefits for dementia patients, both physical and mental. Let’s explore these benefits further.

1. Improved Cognitive Function: Card games require players to use their brains actively.

They need to remember the rules of the game, keep track of their cards, strategize their moves, and make decisions on the fly. All these activities stimulate different parts of the brain, including memory, attention span, problem-solving abilities, and decision-making skills.

Tip: Choose card games that are easy to understand and have simple rules so that dementia patients can enjoy playing them without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Social Interaction: Card games are an excellent way for dementia patients to interact with others socially. Playing card games with family members or caregivers helps them feel connected and engaged with others, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Tip: Make sure to choose card games that accommodate multiple players so that everyone can participate.

3. Stress Relief: Dementia patients often experience anxiety and stress due to their condition’s unpredictability. Playing card games provides an outlet for them to relax and unwind while engaging in an enjoyable activity.


  • Pick calming card games like Rummy or Solitaire.
  • Avoid competitive card games like Poker or Bridge since they may cause unnecessary stress.

4. Increased Confidence: Card games provide a sense of accomplishment when played successfully. For dementia patients, who may struggle with completing daily tasks, winning a card game can boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Tip: Celebrate small victories like getting a matching pair or winning a round to encourage them to keep playing.

5. Physical Activity: Playing card games requires patients to use their fine motor skills, such as shuffling and dealing cards, which can help maintain their hand-eye coordination and dexterity.


  • Choose card games with larger print for better visibility.
  • Use large-sized playing cards for patients with arthritis or other hand-related issues.

In conclusion, card games are an excellent intervention for dementia patients. They provide numerous benefits, including improved cognitive function, social interaction, stress relief, increased confidence, and physical activity. Playing card games is an enjoyable way for dementia patients to stay mentally active while connecting with others and having fun.