By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember
For the past few days, I have been corresponding with a very nice lady, Joianne, from an Assisted Living Center in Texas. Joianne really understand how puzzles can spark the memories of Alzheimer’s patients.
Joianne cares for eight Alzheimer’s patients. She told me a little about each one so I could try to pick out the puzzles that would be best.
For instance, Joianne told me one patient is a retired science teacher who is still fascinated with dinosaurs, and she wanted to know if I had any dinosaur puzzles. Well, we were in luck. I do have dinosaur puzzles, but I hadn’t sent them out because I thought that most adults would consider them either subject matter for children or too frightening. This weekend, I will send that patient a great dinosaur puzzle.
Another patient, with advanced dementia and a very short attention span, just became a great grandmother. I will be sending that patient a 6 piece puzzle of baby.
A third patient, who was a world traveler to exotic places, will receive a puzzle of a European castle, while another patient who loves to garden, will have a puzzle of beautiful flowers.
I hope these puzzles give a spark of recognition and a memory of happy times to these patients.
Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude Finkelstein, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER , a 501(c.)3 charitable organization. PUZZLES TO REMEMBER is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and other institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.