I have just received my first order from a website called Active Minds (www.active-minds.co.uk), consisting of 2 sets of Memory Cards and two 11 piece jigsaw puzzles.
The memory cards are pictures/photos/adverts from the 1940s and 1950s and are designed to prompt conversation. There are facts about the pictures on the reverse of each card and tips on starting discussion.
I took the 1950s cards and one of the puzzles when visiting my Mother in her care home on Tuesday evening. She was having a good day anyway, but I was amazed at how chatty and animated she became when we looked at the cards together. She told me all sorts of things that she remembered from those times and seemed to be having a lovely time reminiscing.
I then tried her with the jigsaw puzzle. It is robust (wood, not cardboard) and has 11 large pieces of different shapes and sizes. It comes in a frame which is part of the picture and has the outline of each piece inside the frame to help with placing the pieces. It took Mum about 12-15 minutes to complete the puzzle, she neither found it too easy or too difficult, and she enjoyed completing it (3 times!).
Many of us struggle for something to talk about and something to do when visiting relatives in care or at home, so I thought I would share this with you as I was surprised how successful both the cards and the puzzle were. It may not work for all, but I can certainly recommend these products.
The cards are £16.66 and the puzzles £12.49.