How to Choose a Puzzle for Someone With Dementia

October 13, 2023
November 26, 2022
Posted by
Bre'anna Wilson
November 26, 2022
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If you have a loved one with dementia, you may be looking for ways to keep their mind active and engaged. One activity you can do together is jigsaw puzzles. But how do you know which puzzle is right for someone with dementia?

Here are a few considerations when choosing a puzzle for someone with dementia:

  • Vibrant, high contrast puzzle design
  • Simple and familiar themes
  • Large, thick pieces
  • Appropriate puzzle count

Vibrant, high contrast puzzle design

Puzzles should be visually engaging and easy to make out the different elements of the image.

Simple and familiar themes

Puzzles are a great way to reminisce and evoke memories. Choosing simple and easily recognizable puzzles that are also age appropriate are a great way to promote social interaction and discussion surrounding the theme of the puzzle.

Large, thick pieces

As dementia progresses, you may find that a person living with dementia has a more difficult time handling and manipulating puzzle pieces. Large puzzle pieces make puzzles more accessible to those who may have fine motor challenges.

Appropriate puzzle count

Everyone is different and retains different abilities as their dementia progresses. If a person was an avid puzzler prior to their dementia, you may notice that they retain the ability to complete higher puzzle counts for much longer.

Here are some general recommendations:

12-24 puzzle counts may be good for people in mid-late stages of dementia

24-48 puzzle counts may be good for people in mid stages of dementia

48+ puzzle counts may be good for people in early stages of dementia

Again, this can all vary and will be largely contingent upon some trial and error. Observation is key! You want the number of pieces in a puzzle to provide a just right challenge — meaning it is neither too easy or too hard!

So, in summary, the best puzzles for people with dementia are the ones they will enjoy and that will  provide them with a just right challenge.

If you believe the puzzle lover in your life would benefit from a large 12-piece puzzle, consider checking out Bambu Care's puzzle collection — Bambu Dozens.

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