My grandma, Mary, used to love word searches, and she spent hours searching for words when she lived with us after my grandfather died. These days, however, my grandmother is having more difficulty with her memory and more difficulty with the word searches she used to love.
I noticed that she would start the old, store-bought word searches only to put the book down within a few minutes. These store-bought word searches were too complicated, and even those advertising large font didn’t have large enough letters. So, I decided to create a word search myself so she could feel challenged, but also rewarded, when she was successful.
Aside from using large font, I used well-known words and mostly shorter words. I made most of the answers horizontal and a few vertical with no diagonal or backwards answers, since I noticed that these often frustrated my grandmother. I wanted my grandmother to feel the fun of finding the words. For each puzzle, I grouped the words into simple categories like presidents, cars, spring, and pets.
The simple word searches found in Grandma and Grandpa's Word Searches, tailored for dementia patients, are an enjoyable activity at which seniors with memory loss can succeed and feel a sense of accomplishment, which helps them relax and boosts their self-esteem.
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