This week is Dementia Action Week, which unites people, workplaces, schools and communities to improve the lives of people living with dementia.
Completing a jigsaw puzzle not only reduces the risk of developing dementia but is also beneficial for those who have already been diagnosed with the condition, according to a report by the charity Unforgettable Foundation. In a Cochrane Review of different studies, scientists looked at 718 men and women with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The results revealed that mental stimulation, such as completing a jigsaw, improved scores on memory and thinking tests equivalent to delaying the worsening of symptoms by 6-9 months. Some of the studies also found that those with living with dementia who engaged in such activities had increased feelings of well-being and a better quality of life, including improved communication and interactions with those around them.
Gibsons is working to develop a range of jigsaw puzzles especially designed to help those living with dementia. The series will be released in 2020 and will consist of illustrated and photographic puzzles. The range will also be ideal for those with visual or fine motor skill difficulties due to the larger puzzle pieces. To ensure Gibsons caters to an array of abilities, the puzzles will range from 4-48 pieces, and the designs will include carefully selected themes to stimulate happy memories.
Gibsons’ product development manager, Emily Charles, commented: “Puzzling provides many health benefits, especially for the older generation. Physically joining the puzzle pieces together enhances motor skills and provides mental exercise which can boost memory and self-esteem. We have thoughtfully designed each puzzle to help evoke memories of a bygone era, and to encourage conversation though reminiscing. Each puzzle in presented in a beautifully designed box making them perfect gifts of for puzzlers who require larger pieces.”