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Customizable classic card game - feedback required

Discussion in 'Researchers, students and professionals' started by aspolale, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. aspolale

    aspolale New member

    Dec 2, 2017
    #1 aspolale, Dec 2, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
    Hi All,
    I am currently a final year student who as part of my dissertation I am going to be developing a customizable version of the popular card game happy families.
    You will be able to choose how many families of four you want to customise and then include details such as the family name, pictures names of the family members and a job title.
    This is being targeted as dementia / Alzheimer patients as it allows for some exercise of the brain Also morale would potentially be boosted as patients are able to recognise people that they may not have seen for a while or immediate family members and then allow them to reinforce any existing memories.
    I am not claiming that this idea would be beneficial in any way to reduce the effects or even slow down the condition but It could be a fun and enjoyable way for family members and the patient to enjoy a simple game and reinforce existing memories.

    This consists of two parts
    Both implementations would obviously require the help of a carer and the implementation would only work for people in the early stages I believe.
    The first of which being an online website where you are able to customize the family cards online (pictures,names, jobs /etc.) and then have the custom cards sent to a specified address at a reasonable cost.
    Second of which would be a mobile / tablet app incorporating a virtual solution that could be played either single player or with family members / other devices - this would probably be with the assistance of a carer.
    Any feedback on this would be great even if it consists of saying it's a terrible idea or any extra features you would like to see would be great.

    Thank you
  2. Chemmy

    Chemmy Volunteer Moderator

    Nov 7, 2011
    I don't know if Happy Families would be too complicated, as the person with dementia would still have to have a good grasp of language to ask for the card they want.... but I know my mum could play dominoes long after she was unable to play other games. Have you considered customising them? My toddler grandchildren can cope easily with picture dominoes. They might like customable ones too. ;)
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    How much do you know about dementia? You can't brain train people who have it, and you might just frustrate people by showing them faces they are supposed to recognise. Plus yet again, involvement of new technology and the Internet like people with dementia have no problem using that.
    I know you're well-meaning but maybe educate yourself first a little more about the problems of the condition?
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    or Snap, too
    I quite like your idea, you do seem to have some grasp of what may interest a person with dementia - and actually families in general may like your idea, which would make the costs more feasible, if there is a wider market - sounds like a good game for any grandparent and grandchildren to play together
    I agree with Beate that there is a 'window of opportunity' for your idea, my dad would have enjoyed it a few years ago (we played happy families and snap and dominoes, he remembered them from his childhood and mine) - a year ago he might have just put the cards in order or played some game of his own invention but is now wholly incapable of holding the cards or grasping what any game is about, he wouldn't recognise the photos and definitely couldn't make links to and within families
    I like that there can be physical cards and an app - again, dad would have been fine with the app years ago, then lost how to use any kind of technology but could use physical cards
    I wonder whether there could be a way to add extra bits of info,maybe in a link on the app eg brief accounts of keep memories of the person, favourite sayings, other photos
    maybe a way to have seasonal cards eg photos and background linked to Christmas, birthdays, holidays, celebrations eg a weddings set - in fact the 'families' could be groups of adverts over the decades as memories are not only linked to people - but I guess users of your app can customise as they wish
    none of this will suit all those with a diagnosis, but some may well enjoy the idea
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    I agree with Beate, one of the first things that seems to go is memories like names and faces and trying to "assist" someone with AZ when they can't remember can be a flashpoint for conflict or aggression as they know they should know something but they can't, it leads to them becoming stressed, hence the reason the tests at the memory clinics are so unpopular with many people.
    Phrases like "exercise of the brain and to retain memory links" and "reinforce existing weak memory links" are usually the language of those claiming there's a way or reversing AZ, there isn't. I'd avoid making any claims you can't substantiate in court and claims like this.
    Other than that it's very kind of you to take an interest in people with AZ and welcome to TP.
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Host

    Dec 15, 2012
    I read those phrases as how aspolale is justifying the dissertation topic with the supervisor/assessor/examiner rather than any claims that will be made to aid the sale of the product
    I don't disagree that there comes a point with each person when interventions from well meaning family members/carers/others can lead to anxiety - but no-one is going to force anyone to play with these cards/the app - my dad would have enjoyed playing with such cards for a while and it would have been a catalyst to chatting about eg siblings who live abroad - I recognised the time to stop looking at photos or talking about the siblings, so I'd have just put the cards away at that point - he was less stressed at looking at eg photos of his favourite rugby team, they could make a set of cards - I like the opportunity for a carer to create a set of cards to suit the individual they care for
  7. Chemmy

    Chemmy Volunteer Moderator

    Nov 7, 2011
    Looking back, this has reminded me that the very first sign of my mother's long battle with Alzheimer's was her mixing up family relationships. She didn't 'get' the concept of brother/sister, husband /wife any more. I remember her asking me how me and my husband knew each other, as she was trying to work out our relationship. We'd been married for 25 years.
  8. aspolale

    aspolale New member

    Dec 2, 2017
    Thank you for your feedback so far guys, just to clarify I am not claiming that this game would actually have any impact of the degeneration with the condition itself but that it could be used as a good pass time if the patient is in the early stages of the condition. Furthermore some benefit regarding brain activity may be possible and I am currently working with several experts in the field of dementia to determine exactly what this could be so I would have an accurate bit of science to put behind my product also.

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