ADVERTISEMENT

Benefits Of Game Play In Alzheimer’s Patients

An estimated 5 million people in America are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (Matthews, et al. 2018). Oftentimes, the focus on Alzheimer’s revolves around the losses a person is experiencing. Alzheimer’s affects memory, and the result is a slow and gradual decline in a person’s ability to participate in work, activities, and, eventually, self-care. While a cure for Alzheimer’s does not exist, there has been much research focused on brain games to preserve cognitive health. Many of these brain games use computers and video games aimed at improving memory and attention.

As today’s generation of older adults has not grown up with computers, the researchers wanted to see if they could teach persons with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s how to play a tile game in a group. Hisss™ is an interactive multi-player tile game with a puzzle component. The purpose of the game is to create a snake by matching like-colored tiles together. The game tiles are either a head, a body segment, or a tail. The player’s turn consists of drawing a tile from a face-down pile and then trying to connect the tiles to create a snake. The person who completes the snake receives the points.

ADVERTISEMENT

Two researchers met with the players at an adult day center and played twice a week for ten weeks. The results indicated players were able to learn how to play the tile placement game and were able to maintain this ability over time. Also, over time, players increased in their ability to match tiles correctly. By the end of ten weeks, they had learned how to play the game, the researchers were able to increase the game difficulty level by including more colored tiles, and the researchers were only providing minimal guidance.

The researchers also found players became more social each week. Natural conversation occurred as a result of playing the game. Players began to congratulate each other when they completed a snake, and they encouraged each other to do well. They reminded each other whose turn it was and began to tell their opponents to hurry up because they wanted their turn. The researchers also noticed that as the players’ placement accuracy increased, the players developed a friendly competition. They played to win and experienced a sense of accomplishment when they completed a snake. Interestingly, the game provided the players an opportunity to help each other. When a player was unable to figure out where to place a tile, oftentimes the other players would remind them of the rules and assist in tile placement. By the end of the ten weeks, the players were coming to the card table before the researchers arrived, asking to play additional rounds, and sharing stories about their lives.

Playing games is a social activity learned in childhood. For persons with Alzheimer’s playing games gave them a sense of normalcy and boosted their self-confidence. They were able to utilize their social skills to learn how to play the game. The game gave them the opportunity to help others and share their new knowledge in playing. The opportunity to learn, even on a small scale, and help others is often denied to persons with Alzheimer’s. Playing games is a normal activity to be shared with friends, and persons with Alzheimer’s should be encouraged to enjoy this experience.

These findings are described in the article entitled Individuals with Alzheimer’s learn to play a tile placement game: Results of a pilot study: Innovative practice, and Social engagement during game play in persons with Alzheimer’s: Innovative Practice, both recently published in the journal Dementia.

ADVERTISEMENT

References:

  1. Matthews, K. A., Xu, W., Gaglioti, A. H., Holt, J. B., Croft, J. B., Mack, D., & McGuire, L. C. (2018). Racial and ethnic estimates of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the United States (2015–2060) in adults aged≥ 65 years. Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

Comments

READ THIS NEXT

Studying A Recent, Rapid Decline In Established Apple Trees

Apples are one of the most common and beloved fruits. From their center of origin in Central Asia, apples have […]

Identifying The Impacts Of The El Niño And La Niña Events On Habitat Quality Of Chub Mackerel In The East China Sea

Published by Wei Yu and Xinjun Chen Shanghai Ocean University These findings are described in the article entitled Climate-induced habitat […]

Meiosis Anaphase 1

Meiosis is the process which creates sex cells, or gametes. During the process of meiosis, chromosomes are divided by half […]

Large Reservoirs Of Water Ice Found On Mars, Says NASA

In a recent study published in the journal Science, researchers from the Arizona detachment of United States Geological Survey reported, […]

A Novel Method For Lithium-ion Battery State Of Energy And State Of Power Estimation

Environmental pollution and energy crises make people develop new energy. Lithium-ion batteries, which have the characteristics of long cycle life, […]

What Is Moldavite?

Moldavite is a projectile rock formed by meteor impact and found primarily around southern Germany. It is believed to have […]

Managing Soil After A Fire

Fire is a natural element of ecosystems that has shaped world biomes as we know them today. With the exception […]

Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Want to know more?