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When Mom was diagnosed at age 92, my "retirement" pursuit became finding ways to engage her mind, lift her spirits and allow her to enjoy the moment, whether alone or with a caregiver, friend or family member. As the disease progressed, Mom became increasingly unable to enjoy TV or process the language of books, magazines and the newspaper. Crossword puzzles, word searches and Scrabble became frustrating.
As a retired speech-language pathologist, I searched innumerable sources of activities/puzzles/games for seniors like Mom. I found many wonderful suggestions for everyday routines and many books targeted primarily at caregivers. But I was looking for puzzles and games, and more specifically word games, targeted at the person with Alzheimer's. When I found very few, my experience as an "SLP" kicked in. I pulled out old therapy materials and workbooks and started engaging Mom. Lo and behold, she succeeded at many of these "word-finding" activities and loved them. They kept Mom's mind stimulated, while providing a sense of productivity, personal worth, social interaction and fun!
I soon decided to share the pleasure and positive effects of these “games” with others by writing a series of paperback books, Joggin’ Your Noggin. Family and caregivers readily connect; and recreation therapists or activity directors easily adapt the content to group activities. Most important, persons with Alzheimer’s themselves enjoy success as they answer questions independently.
I'm hopeful that others will enjoy these activities with their loved ones. And welcome any and all feedback.