Do Card Games Help Dementia?

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By Valerie Becker

As we age, our cognitive abilities may decline, and some individuals may experience memory loss or even dementia. Dementia is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to think, reason, and remember.

It can be a challenging condition to manage, both for the individual living with it and their caregivers. However, recent studies have shown that playing card games can help individuals with dementia maintain their cognitive function and potentially slow down the progression of the disease.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a general term that refers to a decline in cognitive function. It affects memory, thinking, behavior, and the ability to perform daily activities.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but there are other types as well. There is no cure for dementia; however, there are ways to manage the symptoms.

The Benefits of Playing Card Games

Playing card games has been shown to have several benefits for individuals with dementia. Here are a few:

1) Social Interaction

Card games provide an opportunity for social interaction, which can help improve mood and alleviate feelings of loneliness or isolation. Playing card games with others also helps keep seniors engaged in conversation and provides them with a sense of community.

2) Mental Stimulation

Card games require players to use their memory and reasoning skills to make decisions during gameplay. This mental stimulation can help improve cognitive function in individuals with dementia.

3) Reduced Stress Levels

Playing card games can be relaxing and enjoyable for individuals with dementia. This can lead to reduced stress levels and improved overall well-being.

4) Improved Communication Skills

Individuals with dementia may struggle with communication skills as the disease progresses. Playing card games encourages communication between players and helps them practice their verbal skills.

The Best Card Games for Dementia Patients

Not all card games are created equal when it comes to helping individuals with dementia. Here are a few card games that have been shown to be particularly beneficial:

1) Go Fish

Go Fish is a simple game that requires players to match cards. It’s easy to learn and can help individuals with dementia practice their memory and matching skills.

2) Solitaire

Solitaire is a classic card game that can be played alone or with others. It requires players to use their problem-solving skills and can help improve focus and concentration.

3) Bridge

Bridge is a more complex card game that requires strategy and critical thinking. It can be played with partners, providing an opportunity for social interaction while also challenging the brain.


Playing card games can be an excellent way for individuals with dementia to maintain their cognitive function, reduce stress levels, and improve overall well-being. While there is no cure for dementia, playing card games provides a fun and engaging way to manage the symptoms of the disease. If you’re caring for someone with dementia, consider incorporating card games into their daily routine as a way of promoting mental stimulation and social interaction.