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Games People Play

Games People Play

Dear Diary,

Never being one to enjoy much success in the gaming arena; I can very much relate to Ruth’s immense displeasure in partaking in the “word-search” extravaganza over at Happy Daze Assisted Living (Roam Division for the Dementia-ly inclined) the other day. It would be one thing if Ruth was doing MARIOKART Wii.. which by the way she is fabulous at playing. You should see her race that baby. Why she’s so skilled that she can drive one handed all while looking over her shoulder to trash talk Harriet for making her lose concentration and looking out the Dining Hall window to see if anyone is gaining on her. It’s a well-known fact that pretty much ANYONE can drive a car.. but it takes special skills and reasoning abilities to do a word search activity sheet.

I look down at Ruth’s classroom work to see– beautifully drawn CIRCLES, meticulously framing each and every letter on the word-search paper.

RUTH (frustrated): I don’t know what the point of THIS is. They’re having us draw circles around these words (points to letters A and B). See, I drew a circle around the “A” and the “B” to spell Ab. And here’s an “o” and a “k” to make o.k.. So now what am I supposed to do? Draw another circle around both of them?

ME (sensing a rapidly approaching melt-down): Yeah. Sure. You go right ahead and do that. Good, you win. Are we done? Lets. Go. Walk.

Not so fast. Today we are hitting a high on the Tizzy-o-meter. What’s on the docket next? Game of CONCENTRATION to push us OVER the edge?

RUTH: Why do I have to draw circles on this paper? Seems kind of dumb to me. Does it seem dumb to you?

This is where my job get’s kind of hairy. Do I:

A.  Answer that it seems dumb to me. Because, between you and I— Yeah, I think it’s horribly naive giving a group of Alzheimer’s patient’s a word search sheet when 85% of them can’t even find their ROOMS on a good day. I can’t tell you how many times I do the victory dance when Ruth can find her N-A-M-E on her room door.
B.  Do I tell her no? It’s not dumb at all. Word search is a great game—drawing circles around letters strengthens fine motor skills and is good for her eye muscle flexibility. Many Doctors in fact recommend word search on a regular basis for this very reason.

I am scaring myself right now at the ease in which that last option came flowing from my lips. Today, the best option is “C” as in let’s SEE if we can get out of here without causing a sCene.

I am a big fan of “room hunt”. It’s one of those games that almost every one residing on The Roam floor knows how to play. Very seldom does anyone feel left out or inferior for not understanding the objective of the game. When I was little, we used to play this Barbie Mystery Date game..OMG. How I adored it! A player would open a “door” on the game board and VOILA! Some good-looking mystery dude appears. That’s kind of how it is around here. I can’t stress enough how we L-O-V-E the element of surprise. It’s really crazy fun when we walk into Ruth’s room to use the bathroom and find Harry has been warming the seat up for her. Good times THOSE. Little Red Riding hood was young enough to withstand the shock of Mr. Wolf in Granny’s bed. Kills ME every time. Ruth just screams!

My Sandwich Generation diners— there are activities that are appropriate for our seniors with medium stage memory issues: Painting, drawing (Pencils are good. Crayons are undignified), Connect Four (granny whipped kids at this one) tic-tac-toe (another great one for Granny to play with the grandchildren) and soothing, small, piano recitals by grandchildren who practice more than sporadically but show talent…

Scrabble, 3,000 piece puzzles, and MONOPOLY should be avoided at all costs. Hide and go seek? No!

Simon Says? Wii Wii!

Put your hand on your head. Simon says put your hand on your head.


Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 9 months ago at 10:08 pm.


4 Replies

  1. Granny should not feel bad….even ‘I’ avoid Scrabble, 3,000 piece puzzles and MONOPOLY and I don’t have dementia. Well, I am showing some early signs of it….or maybe that’s called air-headed?? Oh well, either way.

    I say let Ruth play it her way…who really is going to ‘correct’ her? ;D

  2. Adrienne Apr 30th 2009

    So right you are Leanna. If Ruth doesn’t want to play “word search” and would rather play “strip poker” who am I to argue?

    By the and I can hang out in ROAM together.


  3. Can i get a one small photo from your blog?
    Have a nice day

  4. Adrienne May 2nd 2009

    Please e-mail me with the specifics of your request. Please state which photo and for what purpose. Thank you so much.