By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember
By now, I have been collecting puzzles for Alzheimer’s Patients for almost 2 years. I receive puzzles ranging from 4 pieces to 8000 pieces! About half of them are new, and the other half are gently used. I realize the needs of Alzheimer’s patients vary widely, and most puzzles will be able to find a home in a facility where they can provide a lot of calmness as well as intellectual stimulation.
Yet, I do not receive anywhere nearly enough puzzles of the kind that are most needed. The reason for this is that very, very few of the best type of puzzles for Alzheimer’s patients exist. For some time now, I have been contemplating this problem.
I have given much thought about what would be the best type of puzzle. I also got input from Bob DeMarco of the AlzheimersReadingRoom.com and Carole Larkin of ThirdAgeServices.com. It started becoming clear that what was most needed were puzzles having from about 6 – 60 pieces. The pieces should be colorful and large enough to be easy to handle. Serene themes with memory provoking scenes would also be helpful.
Over the past two years, I have corresponded with many puzzle manufacturers. Most have been kind and generous. One in particular, seemed to really understand my efforts. That was Springbok puzzles in Missouri. About two months ago, I decided to contact Springbok puzzles about the possibility of their producing this kind of puzzle specifically for Alzheimer’s patients. I was VERY happy to hear that they were very interested in participating in this effort.
Earlier today, I heard from Springbok puzzles, that they are examining the purchase of various puzzle dies in order to make these puzzles, and that they plan to proceed to produce puzzles for Alzheimer’s patients.
THANK YOU, SPRINGBOK!
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.