Puzzles To Remember

PUZZLES TO REMEMBER is a 501(c)3 organization that provides puzzles to nursing homes, veterans facilities, and other facilities that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. Puzzles To Remember was founded in 2008 by Max Wallack, who recognized the calming effect of puzzles and many other benefits on people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Max graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, in 2015, and from Harvard Medical School in 2020.

Beginning in 2020, Hailey Richman is the Executive Director of PuzzlesToRemember. Since 2011, Hailey has been distributing puzzles to nursing facilities around the globe. Hailey also spends time doing the puzzles with nursing home residents. She always brightens their days.  Hailey is also the founder of KidCaregivers.com, where she provides advice for children dealing with dementia in their family members. Hailey has begun a program called PuzzleTime which involves volunteer students going to nursing facilities and doing puzzles with their residents. Max serves as a mentor to the KidCaregivers program.

If you have puzzles that you would like to donate, please contact us at Puzzles2Remember@gmail.com and we will find a location near you where you can bring your puzzles. We can also provide you with a donation letter so that you can claim the value of your puzzles as a tax deduction.

To see a short video from WCVB Ch. 5 "BOSTON STRONG" about Max's efforts on behalf of Alzheimer's patients, click here.

To see a short video about Hailey's Puzzle Time Program, click here.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Efforts on Behalf of Alzheimer’s Patients


By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

PuzzlesToRemember has, by now, distributed puzzles to over 1500 facilities.  These facilities include locations in every state, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, England, and Aruba.
Over 15,600 puzzles have been supplied.  More than half of these are new puzzles, while the remaining puzzles are gently used puzzles. The value of these puzzles is estimated at about $140,000.

Puzzles of over 500 pieces are sent to assisted living facilities.  Puzzles of 100-500 pieces are sent to Adult Day Care centers and nursing facilities housing patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Puzzles with fewer than 100 pieces are supplied to Alzheimer’s and dementia units.  These puzzles are especially helpful because they allow a feeling of accomplishment to patients experiencing few successes.  These puzzles have bright, colorful images that appeal to the portion of the brain which is most intact in Alzheimer’s patients.

Here are some of the specialized Springbok PuzzlesToRemember puzzles:

Below are images of Alzheimer’s patients experiencing joy while working on these puzzles. Those who work with Alzheimer’s patients realize that joy is not an emotion experienced frequently enough by this population!

I am contacted by email (PuzzlesToRemember@gmail.com) daily by people around the globe that have puzzles they would like to donate to nursing facilities.  I research the facilities in their area and I supply the names and addresses of facilities who house patients with abilities appropriate to the complexity of the puzzles being donated.  Many facilities have benefitted from these donations, while the people supplying the puzzles are able to take a tax donation.

My work with and on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients has led to my decision to become a Geriatric Psychiatrist, working with Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.  These caregivers are often under a great deal of stress, and often succumb to illness and fatigue.  For this reason, I often write for the AlzheimersReadingRoom.com, which is a leading internet site for advice and support for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

I have also been invited to become a member of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and I attended their conference last spring, where I learned a great deal.  I am happy to be able to say that there are some wonderful, compassionate, geriatric physicians, and many more in the pipeline.  That is very important for our aging population and impending Alzheimer’s epidemic.

I believe that any approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease must be multi-faceted, and research must be a critical part.  Toward this end, I am spending 12-20 hours per week doing research at Boston University School of Medicine’s Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory.
One of my projects concerns the use of various enzymes as biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, while another project measures the effects of stress on the timing of the onset of symptoms in transgenic mice, bred to have Alzheimer’s disease.  

 I value every minute of my research work, and I am very fortunate to have some wonderful mentors.

I hope to present my research at Boston University this Fall and at a major conference in the Spring.  It is my passion to be able to make a difference in this disease.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of  PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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PUZZLES TO REMEMBER was founded in 2008 by Max Wallack, in memory of his great-grandmother, Gertrude Finkelstein, who died of Alzheimer's disease in 2007.
Puzzles To Remember is registered in Massachusetts as a public charity. Contributions are welcome, and are tax deductible under sec. 501(c.)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

For more information, write to us at Puzzles2Remember@gmail.com