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Puzzles designed for Dementia with Memories

by Karen Miller owner/developer of  www.memoryjoggingpuzzles.com

My lovely mother had a stroke at age 50, after having surgery and dementia followed. Her life was changed dramatically in a split second. Mother was terrified, frustrated and depressed but she was also a survivor.

Being paralyzed on the right side and in the beginning unable to say a word she began her struggle to be the way she used to be: active, capable of walking, talking and cooking; and her hobbies of dancing, playing cards and putting large puzzles together. She desired to do all of these things again and very determined to try.

My father became her instant caregiver every second of the day, when she came home. There were five children, some living away from home and a couple of younger ones. Dad had his hands full but I never heard him complain and I am sure he was depressed at times, but he hid it well.

Just go with the flow. . .

Mother was in physical and speech therapy a long time. I remember her being frustrated by us not understanding what she was trying to say.

I recall trying to help her by saying the words that WE thought she wanted to say. This made her more frustrated and upset. We had to learn not to interrupt but be patient and let the thoughts and words come, even though they might be in a whole new direction, just go with the flow.

It’s funny but I remember when mom was angry, we understood her words very well, she was a character.

Dad took care of mom for many years and then she went into a care center. During this time mom went through many moods and became very depressed and angry towards my father. She began to resent the fact that he had to do everything for her. He was her hands, her feet and her voice at times and she did not like it. I’m sure she couldn’t control her feelings and actions very well, but just reacting to a bad situation and I know they both had a straight beam to heaven when they died.

If I could step into mom’s shoes at that moment, I would feel inadequate; angry that it happened to me, and very depressed thinking that perhaps I, would never be able to enjoy these activities again.

Both have inspired me and mother’s love of playing cards and putting puzzles together and then her struggles of not being able to were inspirational to me in developing Memory Jogging Puzzles and Memory Exercise Cards.

I miss my parents and I wish they were here today to see the inspiration and drive they have given me.

Memory Jogging Puzzles

My lap size, wooden puzzles are simple, easy and fun to work with. Age appropriate themes by Norman Rockwell _ The Saturday Evening Post have real life illustrations and are great for conversations. Many remember Norman Rockwell and The Saturday Evening Post.

Puzzles have few, large pieces; 6 piece for middle stages; 12 piece for early – middle stages. They can complete the puzzles and feel success.

“Your puzzles do indeed show some promise, due to the fact that they engage persons with their emotional and recognition memory, but then rely upon "here and now" problem-solving skills.” Mitchell Slutzky, Ph.D., Clinical Geropsychologist, NY


For valuable information visit http://www.memoryjoggingpuzzles.com
©2009 Karen Miller, Memory Jogging Puzzles - All rights reserved