A game designed for adults
People like games. “Games” is perhaps the most often used search term by visitors to our web store. Games are fun! Games are stimulating! Games provide social interaction and they exercise our brains! PicLink does all of that, and more. And Piclink was designed with older adults in mind.
Games often rely on memory, mostly short term memory; but trivia games rely heavily on one’s ability to recall the more distant past. Games often require higher cognitive functioning, like acute reasoning, planning, and deductive ability. A good game challenges the brain. It is precisely this quality of games that make them enjoyable. Unfortunately, a brain damaged by dementia doesn’t function as well as it once did. Games that were once delightfully challenging might now be only frustrating. Chess or Scrabble, perhaps once pleasant diversions, may now be too difficult to be of any value.
Certain children’s games might provide just the right challenge without being so hard that they are frustrating. On the other hand, a game that was fashioned for a child might not be appropriate for adult sensibilities.*
When we began searching for activities to keep Bernice active and stimulated we often relied on things designed primarily for children. Other times we rewrote the rules of games to adapt them to her abilities. It is still hard to find games that are designed explicitly for people who have memory and cognitive disorders.
So we created PicLink!
We kept it simple. The game consists of 36 picture tiles, each with a vibrant and recognizable image. The images measure 2½ inches square and are mounted on heavy board to make them durable and easy to handle. The cards can be used to create an almost endless variety of games intended to enhance memory, recall, and the thinking process; and to stimulate creativity and encourage conversation.
The simplest way to play is to arrange the cards by color or by category. Each card belongs to one of six categories and is predominantly one of six colors.
|Arrange Cards by Color:
|Arrange Cards by Category:
6. Structures (houses, etc.)
Difficulty level can be adjusted by using more or fewer cards. Instead of sorting all 36 cards according to color groups, use only half of the cards from each group, or only three of the colors. Always adapt play to the ability of those playing.
Instructions included with PicLink include many other ways to play as well, and people are creating new ways all the time. Because there is no real structure the possibilities for play are limited only by your imagination. Please comment on this post, or email us to share your ideas for play so we can pass them on to others.
PicLink was conceived and designed for people with dementia; any dementia. It is also a wonderful game for those with developmental disorders including autism, and certain learning and communication disabilities.
Playing PicLink also reinforces some of the basic concepts and perceptions that are important to the cognitive development of young children; concepts like same-different and categorizing . Most obviously, it supports their early learning of color.
*Some people with dementia find playing with toys or playing children’s games disparaging, even demeaning. On the other hand, to play a child’s game with a child might be seen by those same people in an entirely different light. Children relate well with the elderly and make excellent gaming partners for people who have dementia.