How To Use Computer Gaming As Therapy For Parkinsons Disease
My husband, Mike, and I recently decided to break out our board games. The DePorterville game closet resembled a scene from Toy Story. I envisioned the pieces talking to each other, hoping the door would open. Which game would I choose? Which one could join exercise and music in my Parkinsons toolbox?
The shelves were full of games, ranging in skill level from preschool to college. Some boxes were tattered and torn, while others remained unopened. It was clear which had been the favorites on past family game nights.
Types Of Games To Avoid
While some of these may be obvious, here are few things to avoid when choosing a board game for seniors with dementia:
- Avoid extreme games that may cause physical exertion
- Stay away from games that have many small parts that need to be manipulated.
- Dont try games that have complicated sets of rules.
- Avoid introducing newer-style board games with electronic accessories that may confuse or frustrate them.
Chess And Other Strategy Games
Classic strategy games, such as chess and checkers, help seniors continue to strengthen their reasoning skills. Your loved one will also need to use his or her memory to recall the rules of the game and any strategies he or she used successfully in the past. Seniors may also need to move their arms across the midlines of their bodies when they move the pieces, which further strengthens communication between the two sides of the brain.
A professional caregiver can be a wonderful game-playing partner for a senior with Parkinsons. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, ahomecare servicesagencyyou can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
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Speak Up For Parkinson’s
This free app allows the patient/client to video-record themselves saying words or phrases, reading aloud or having a conversation. It has a volume target zone which turns green when the person is loud enough to reach it. The downside of this app is that you really do have to speak very loud to reach the green target zone. However, it is good for encouraging increased vocal effort and the video-recording can be used for client feedback on articulation, intelligibility and facial movement.
Has Your Experience Of Playing Board Games Changed Since Your Parkinsons Diagnosis
Im still competitive, but I try to find the funny side when I cant do something like shuffling cards. Its easy to get caught up in what you cant do, but playing board games is a great way to spend time with friends, family, your spouse or partner.
Flipping tiles, dealing cards or manipulating jigsaw puzzle pieces with your Parkinsons hand, while singing the ABCs, may also serve as multi-modal training and Ive found these activities help me to exercise my motor function and brain at the same time.
Lori enjoys completing jigsaw puzzles with her husband, Mike.
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Table Tennis For Patients With Parkinsons Disease: A Single
This study reports the impact of table tennis exercises on Parkinson’s disease.
Table tennis exercise may improve motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Table tennis exercise may improve ADL of patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Table tennis exercise is safe for Parkinson’s disease patients.
Games: Therapy To Reduce Cognitive Abilities
Why Board games as a therapy:
Parkinson symptoms are not just restricted to physical challenges such as tremors etc. The National Library of Medicine has a detailed research to show how board games can be useful for people suffering from Parkinson. They also encounter issues with their cognitive abilities as the disease begins to generate changes in their brain. The initiative is being launched by the European Parkinson’s Disease Association . It is supported with an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis Pharma AG and Orion Corporation ORION PHARMA.
Fortunately, home care can be made fun by including brain games for people with Parkinson.
Gist of what we want to include
We have highlighted below and through our blog some ways that you can use board games to help delay the issues with cognitive abilities. If you want us to cover any specific issues please
Some benefits of the most effective games are as follows:
Benefits of Word association Games
This type of game involves trying to match words that belong in the same category. This game counteracts the negative impact Parkinson disease has on the ability to group similar objects together. It helps them retain their vocabulary skills.
There are various online games that can be downloaded via google play store.
Benefits of Memory-matching card Games
There are various online games that can be downloaded via google play store.
Benefits of Reflex Games
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No Play Date No Problem
If cards arent your favorite, try games that involve words, pictures, and letters:
- Play I Spy by looking at books or your surroundings.
- Do word searches.
- Use adult coloring books.
- Do large-piece jigsaw puzzles. You can make your own by cutting up old Christmas or birthday cards.
- Build something. Find that bin of Legos hiding in the back of the closet. Use both hands to manipulate the colorful pieces into a masterpiece. The possibilities are endless.
Keep your mind and body active by putting down the screen and playing!
Note: Parkinsons News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinsons News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinsons disease.
Consider Their Skill And Cognitive Level
One of the most important things to pay attention to when choosing a board game for a senior with dementia is the skill level needed to play the game. It is best to choose a game that is appropriate for the patients skill level. Also, keep in mind, this depends on the level of dementia and will probably change over time.
Good games that are simple and straightforward to play are Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, Sorry, and Checkers. These games allow your loved one to be entertained with the gameplay without being distracted or frightened by electronic technology.
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Top Speech Therapy Apps For Parkinson’s Disease
It can be hard for a busy clinician to keep up to date with new apps. Technology moves so fast! Weve been doing some of the groundwork for you.
We have chosen apps that focus on 3 of the main areas that clinicians who work with individuals with Parkinsons Disease will typically be addressing in therapy: rate control, vocal loudness and swallowing.
The apps may also be of benefit to individuals who have what are often referred to as the Parkinsons Plus conditions Multiple Systems Atrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy . To view the apps listed below on the AppStore, simply press/click the title of the app.
What To Avoid In Board Games For Dementia Patients
Playing certain board games is a great way to help dementia patients.
To keep things running smoothly and beneficial for your time with your loved one, and their well-being we suggest avoiding some types of board games. You should avoid:
So which board games and tabletop games are good for individuals with dementia? Here are our top 10.
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Does Playing Video Games Benefit People With Parkinsons
Beth Holloway held a Wii bowling tournament in her St. Johns, Newfoundland home, recently, with six friends who, like Beth, have Parkinsons disease. She also performs a tightrope walk, regularly, using her Wii Fit balance board. She says, I cant say these video games help my balance because I just dont know. But I like the fun of it. Anything that gets a person moving, as far as Im concerned, is a good thing.
She is possibly on the right track, judging from current research into the usefulness of Wii games in helping people with Parkinsons.
Canadian researchUS research
In a small study at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Louis E. Tremblay, associate professor, in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, and four of his physiotherapy undergraduate students* designed a 45-minute activity program that they asked people to do at home, three times a week, for six weeks. 30 minutes of Wii Fit, starting with simple yoga postures, then progressing to balance games such as ski slalom, ski jump and table tilt 15 minutes of Wii Sports bowling or golf
The goal of the project was to determine if the use of the Wii console and the Wii Fit game with its balance board could help in the rehabilitation of people with Parkinsons disease, says Jean-François Esculier, a newly graduated physiotherapy student who was on the research team.
Here are few of the points Dr. Herz shared with his Canadian audiences:
Games For Adults With Dementia
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Small Game Pieces: Good Or Bad
There have been mixed feelings about whether it is a good to have seniors with dementia play board games that have small parts.
One on side of the argument, people state that the number of small parts might overwhelm them. Many of these people may also suffer from other ailments such as arthritis and Parkinsons disease which may make it difficult or impossible to pick up and put down small pieces. For these people, games such as Battleship or Mousetrap would be out of the question. They would also frown on Monopoly because of the sheer amount of small pieces that can be on the board at any one time.
In contrast, many people argue that manipulating small pieces frequently is exactly what is needed for good hand/eye coordination. Also, this may improve their cognitive functions by performing small tasks. Rolling dice, moving a game piece, or spinning a wheel may actually help them. Each action that they are performing is a lesson in trying to strengthen their cognitive ability to follow directions and instructions.
It is important for your loved one to still feel a sense of independence and a sense of self-worth. Allow them to manipulate their own game pieces. Let them help to set up board games that have many small pieces. You are showing that you believe in their ability to assist you. This building of self-worth that can help to give some dementia patients their dignity back.
What Inspired You To Write About This Topic On Your Blog
Writing has changed my life. Originally, my personal journal was a safe way to unload without burdening anyone, and it became the springboard for my writing. Later, my blog Dance Like No One is Watching was picked up and that led to me being offered my column about Parkinsons called Life, Lemons and Lemonade. My husband Mike suggested I write about board games during a game of Gin Rummy.
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Game Play Improves Quality Of Life And Social Interactions
As the disorder progresses, your affected loved one may not have the memory and cognitive skills that they once had. But, you feel that it is still important to give them a better quality of life by playing games with them as a way to interact with them, right? Playing board games like these as an activity help caregivers entertain them while also providing important social interactions.
Have You Always Enjoyed Playing Board Games
My grandmother loved Husker Du and Connect Four, so I played those a lot when I was a child, and many nights in college were spent playing Gin Rummy. When our three sons were growing up, we also enjoyed board games during vacations and family gatherings.
Virtual games are great, but the tactile aspect is lost. And board games bridge the generation gap because theyre timeless.
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Modifications Made Following Co
To address the issues identified during the co-design, significant alterations were made, including: improved ergonomics of the controller setup, re-calibration of the difficulty level of tasks within specific games, improved clarity of instructions and responsiveness of controller and, in the case of Whos the Boss? specifically, a change to the game objective.
Changes to Ergonomics of Controller Setup and Feedback
Changes to the Difficulty Level of Games and Feedback
Improved Clarity of Instructions/Responsiveness of Controller and Feedback
Figure 5. One of the changes made to Sunday Driver included the addition of prompts to instruct individuals based on their gameplay. For example, players would be reminded of the goal if they remained stationary for too long. One of the changes made to Farm Quest included the addition of a time-activated hint trigger, offering the player the option of a hint for the next move.
Change to Game Objective and Feedback
This positive impact of the changes to the games was reflected in a follow-up survey where, on a scale of 1 to 10 , changes to the games were rated 7.91 ± 1.04/10.
Table 6 summarizes the individual and overall rating changes per game post-modification, and Table 7 shows the absolute increase or decrease from baseline for each individual game, following all modifications.
Table 6. Individual game feedback, post-modification.
Table 7. Absolute increase/decrease from baseline for each individual games following modifications.
Tell Us A Bit About Yourself
My name is Lori DePorter and I live with my husband Mike in Pennsylvania, US. My Parkinsons was discovered by accident in 2014, and I was diagnosed at age 45. Like others, I grieved the life I had expected to have. But eventually you accept that you have to play the hand youve been dealt, including the jokers.
I made it my mission to empower others with the condition. Eight years later, I am now a writer, a Rock Steady Boxing coach and a personal trainer. In my spare time, Mike and I enjoy ballroom dancing and kayaking, and we also play board games and do jigsaw puzzles together.
Lori DePorter. Credit: Trish McComb-Lloyd.
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Think About Physical Requirements Too
Another good idea is to have dementia patients play board games that offer light physical exertion. Examples of this are drawing for the game Pictionary or picking up tiles in Scrabble. Allowing your loved one to physically manipulate the pieces of the game will help to strengthen hand-eye coordination. Just find a game with larger or oversized pieces to avoid frustration.
Games like Hungry Hippos and Chinese Checkers have a lower level of physical activity. Flipping a lever or manipulating a marble is not likely to overwhelm a loved one suffering from dementia. Physical therapists like games like this for light aerobic range of motion exercise.
Consider any visual difficulties, the elderly person may have. Some games come in large print versions that may be easier for them to play.
What Is Your Advice For Other People In The Parkinsons Community
Parkinsons is seen as a condition that takes things from you. While that may be true, it also can bring good things into your life things you never expected. Be open to them.
A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. I think thats one of the best quotes for anyone facing a challenge. My advice is: choose to be happy and be present in your life. Dont just make a bucket list live your list.
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An Unplugged Play Date
I would not have predicted table tennis to be an ideal activity for Mike and me. Its a cardio exercise that requires hand-eye coordination, which can be affected by Parkinsons. But we laugh at ourselves, and its been said that laughter is the best medicine.
We also settled on one of the most basic card games, gin rummy, which uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards. But we like to create our own versions and are creative with the rules to allow the game to move along. Sometimes we score each hand, and sometimes we play for either five wins or the best of five rounds.
All versions of the game incorporate both physical and cognitive exercises for Parkinsons. Following are several skills I can practice while playing cards:
- Shuffling and dealing the cards entails multitasking and coordination.
- Holding and organizing the cards involves sequencing and dexterity.
- Remembering the cards requires working memory.
- Making a great play includes everything.