How Do Board Games Help People With Dementia?

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By Eric Wilson

Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with communication. While there is no cure for dementia, there are ways to help manage its symptoms.

One way to do this is through board games. Yes, you read that right – board games can actually help people with dementia! In this article, we’ll explore how board games can be beneficial for those living with dementia.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a term used to describe a range of symptoms associated with cognitive decline. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, but there are other types as well. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, difficulty communicating, disorientation, and changes in mood and behavior.

How Do Board Games Help?

Playing board games can help people with dementia in several ways. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for social interaction. Social isolation is a common problem among those living with dementia, and playing board games can help combat this by providing a fun and engaging activity that they can do with others.

Secondly, playing board games can help stimulate the brain. Board games require players to use their cognitive skills such as memory recall, decision-making, and problem-solving. These skills are important for maintaining brain function and may even help slow down cognitive decline in some cases.

Memory Recall

Memory recall is an essential skill that many people with dementia struggle with. Board games that involve matching pairs or remembering specific details can help improve memory recall skills. For example, playing a game like “Memory” where players have to flip over cards to find matching pairs can be an excellent way to exercise memory recall.

Decision Making

Board games often require players to make decisions based on the information presented to them. This skill is important for maintaining independence and decision-making abilities in people with dementia. Games like “Clue” or “Risk” can be excellent for practicing decision-making skills.

Problem Solving

Many board games require players to think critically and solve problems. This skill is important for maintaining cognitive function and can also help improve mood and reduce feelings of frustration. Games like “Chess” or “Sudoku” are great for practicing problem-solving skills.


In conclusion, board games can be an excellent way to help people with dementia. They provide an opportunity for social interaction, stimulate the brain, and help improve important cognitive skills like memory recall, decision-making, and problem-solving. If you have a loved one living with dementia, consider playing a board game with them as a fun and engaging activity that can provide numerous benefits.