Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jigsaw Puzzles For Dementia Patients And Carers A Big Hit At The Diversional Therapy Association Conference, Brisbane

At the recent Diversional Therapy Association conference in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the jigsaw puzzles designed for dementia and Alzheimer's patients and their carers were a huge hit.

It was a struggle at times to stop some people playing the jigsaw puzzles on the computer so that others could have a turn.

The most popular jigsaws (designed for patients and their carers as well) were Tractors, Motorcycles, Planes, Birds, Ships, Old Cars, African Animals and More English Castles.

As mentioned before in previous posts, my 95 year old mother, Edna, who has moderate dementia, trialled the 12 piece jigsaw puzzle for me. People have asked to see her, so here she is.

She's not very well at the moment, particularly with shingles pain and arthritis in the neck and head.

However, with her arthritic hand she can still manage to click on the left mouse button, release, and move the mouse with her hand. Then to place the piece all she has to do is click on the left mouse button again.

That way there's no pressure on her hand and fingers and she doesn't have to hold the mouse button down to move the piece (the other method of playing the jigsaw puzzle).

For people who haven't seen or used a personal computer or a laptop before it can be a bit daunting at first. However, with a bit of training and maybe a little help from volunteers, people do grasp the idea and then there's no stopping them.

There's a great sense of achievement when the puzzle's finished (there's even a congratulations message), it promotes hand and eye coordination and the finished jigsaw presents a colourful photo to look at and discuss. Armchair travel and reminiscence all wrapped up together.

One of the comments from the conference was that the reason some people don't want to use computers is because they can't control the mouse properly. With the interactive jigsaws they can learn mouse control in a fun way and gain the confidence to learn more about computer use later.

The jigsaw puzzles on CD are not Mac compatible but they do come with instructions and also a jpg of all 5 photos transformed into puzzles (this can be printed out for people to choose which puzzle they want to do).

Because of the digital format, the jigsaw puzzles are light to post anywhere in the world. 

Here's a demonstration of just  how easy it is to do a puzzle.

There are 5 photos per Jigsaw Puzzles CD and each photo has been converted to 5 jigsaws of 12, 24, 40, 104 and 260 pieces, so there are 25 puzzles in total.

To buy any of the CDs click on the jigsaws label in the menu on the left hand side of this post.

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