Hey Fediverse - feel free to boost this question.
Is anyone developing or does anyone know of "brain training" phone/tablet games SPECIFICALLY aimed at users with dementia.
I'm thinking like, bejewelled, hidden object, endless matching, <whatever>scapes, but they need to be ad-free, low-distraction, big visuals, low stakes/low stress.
I almost want toddler busy-games. But for senior adults. SagoBiggie!
Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training was observed in studies to have a positive effect on people with dementia if I'm not mistaken.
@Johannab It might be difficult to find apps specifically aimed at users with dementia because there are not yet any FDA-approved apps for this purpose, and companies can get in trouble for making that claim unfounded. Most famously Lumosity: (https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2016/01/lumosity-pay-2-million-settle-ftc-deceptive-advertising-charges-its-brain-training-program).
The research has yet to show the effectiveness "brain-training" apps, but that said I personally think they can't hurt. Any kind of app that requires a bit of thinking is probably helpful, and there are a lot to choose from, like all the good suggestions here. You likely already know this, but be sure to supplement apps with exercise as much as possible. Research suggests that exercise is much more effective than brain-training apps. (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/21/upshot/alzheimers-exercise-brain-apps.html)
@Johannab I played Infinity Loop while recovering from a stroke. And I think it was good for at least giving me confidence that I could still think analytically. While not entirely ad free, it can be made so with a small payment.
@Johannab if I wanted to develop a game specifically aimed at users with dementia, what would make the game different from games not aimed at people with dementia?
@Johannab https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/puzzles/ maybe these would be of use until someone replies with something specific to dementia. there's an android port of them in f-droid. no ads.
@Johannab https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556257/ found this which might help me find out what qualities the games should have.
@epoch While I'm not a clinical expert, just a family member, some key things come to mind:
* accommodates low visual and auditory functions, as those are often compromised
* easy one-tap type action controls. Input devices or hold-and-drag won't work
* low to zero background sounds/visuals. Bings and boops and flashes and "prizes", pop-ups, etc will distract or overwhelm.
* specific and direct signals to action, with an immediate-then-gone reward/response.
* no timers, no pressure, no scores
@epoch Related concepts to what I'm thinking of: jigsaw puzzles, colouring books, a piano.
Some apps I've seen that I'm considering: Monument Valley (might be too complex, but the play and visuals are nice), and there's a "sleep and relax" app called Loona which is way to pricey to be practical, but something like that with no subscription, just some pre-loaded modules.
It's tough to know what the elders will find engaging when they become locked in. The reason I want tablet apps...
@epoch ... is that as my Dad is losing abilities, he's managed to retain a reasonable grasp of basic iPad use - that's his primary communication device, even though he can't use a phone anymore! He can facetime, and the visual interface is better than just an audio call.
@Johannab It would be great if it also was Free Software, so it wouldn’t just disappear when a company goes defunct.
@Johannab it’s not quite what you asked for, but I’ve heard great things about music and musical instruments in helping with dementia.
@jcf Oh, absolutely! One thing we've not let Dad part with is his little electric piano. Unfortunately he's at a point now where he needs a prompt to actually use it, and we're waiting on a spot for him in a more assisted/memory care type place (he's in an "Independent" living suite but with crazy-price add-on PSW services).
@Johannab you’ve inspired me to play some piano tomorrow morning.
I hope help comes soon. All the best!
@Johannab i know of one that my mom is using, it is run my a dementia research group here in the UK but ill reply with the name once i found out what it is called
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