Games for people with dementia


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Rickmansworth, Herts
I visit my mother regularly in the home where she is. Although I did ask when I first visited whether they did activities, it seems that they don't really or if they do it is very half hearted. Has anyone got any suggestions about games that could be played with the residents. They are not all affected by dementia, some are just elderly but may have problems holding playing cards. Would appreciate hearing from anyone.



Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
At one of my mum's past homes they had a nice time with residents ina circle throwing a soft ball to one another, and also holding the edge of a multicoloured circular sheet which gets waved up and down and has a soft ball or balloon on top that rolls as the sheet is waved.


Registered User
Jun 18, 2006
I do a lot of patchwork and on days when my Mum came to my house it was all spread over the table. She lifted the squares (around 4-5 different patterns) and started sorting them into piles of the same kind.

I have taken them into hospital and she still does it in there. She doesn't always get it right now but enjoys sorting them all out.


Registered User
May 14, 2006
My Mum enjoyed playing Dominoes and looking at Pictorial History books with photos of London and Kent in the early 20th Century. I did try playing Word games with her, but her vision became poor and she couldn't see very well. She enjoyed helping to do sticker books with flower and animal pictures in and she loved her soft toys. She talked about her soft toy dog and Teddies for ages with her best friend in the Nursing Home and they made up stories about them. It really seemed to stimulate conversation.
Mum also liked to look at at China doll, which was dressed in old fashioned clothes and she would feel the texture of the material and talk about it. I tried to make sure Mum always had some fresh flowers and a pot plant in her room and we would look at them together.
When Mum died two weeks ago, I left most of her things for her best friend to keep, as she rarely had visitors. When I saw Mum, her friend was usually there and I think she liked sharing me with her.
Mum and the other ladies in the home liked to see our dogs, but some of the nurses were scared of dogs, so it would be best to ask if it is alright to take animals into the Home first.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Hi Jane ... no experience of homes but thought it might be worth sharing .....

I was surprised when my mother told me she'd played 'bingo' at her day centre ... from someone who struggles to recognise figures and had never played the game often in her life before?????? ... and really enjoyed it ..... (Perhaps it was pictorial???)

They've also run quizzes (long term memories OK for some?) but the one that really entertained mum was 'Charades' - she didn't want to be actively involved but was so enthusiastic about having watched others playing ..... one of those where the spectators can have as much fun as the participants - can be helped along in 'groups' and really very few 'rules' for anyone to have to try to follow????? Emphasis clearly nothing to do with getting a 'right' answer - but simply having fun!

Good luck, love Karen, x


Registered User
Feb 22, 2006
sort of north east ish

games my dad used to play:

hide the door key in the fridge
create a raft of 'imaginary' relatives to baffle your 'real' relatives with
see how many pairs of pyjamas you can wear at one time
"hunt the daddy" was also a good one - he'd trot off and go to sit in another resident's room and me plus all the staff would take the unit apart looking for him.
"derail the wheelchair" is a good one too - the main object is to wait whilst you're being taken across a busy road and then take your feet off the footplates. in the absence of roads "grab the railings or pedestrians" can be equally entertaining.

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