Nursing Times Award Winner

Board Games can restore confidence of people with short term memory problems

Many people with short term memory problems have enjoyed board games during their life. The rules are often embedded in their long term memory.

As many of these games, including draughts and scrabble, do not require the players to remember anything while they play, people with short term memory problems are often able to excel when competing with others. Their ability to 'win' or at least play competently often gives a huge boost to their self esteem.

SK of London wrote to tell us about his father's love of draughts. When his father moved into a residential home, he bought him the game. Until the day he died, and despite his failing memory, his father won every game they played. This information prompted me to recall my own mother's delight when, in similar circumstances, she beat my 22 year old son at scrabble.

When his father died,SK left the draught set to the residential home. He recommends that other care homes encourage residents to play similar games whenever possible, if they have enjoyed them during their younger years.


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