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Playing happy games
Publication date: 01 September 2011

Pleasant and meaningful activities, including individual activities for clients who wish to do something for themselves, may enhance quality of life of people with dementia. As touch-screen devices are relatively simple to operate and iPads can be used anywhere, we explored the impact of one-player iPad happy games on the well-being and behaviour of people with dementia.

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This study has shown that people with dementia may see iPad happy gaming as a pleasant and meaningful activity. Professional caregivers are positive about iPad happy gaming as well. They see happy gaming as an extra to the traditional activities which may not be challenging to some clients and often concern group activities. It is important to note that there is a match between the game, the client's touchscreen skills, and the client's ambitions or interests. In addition, care professionals should receive training on how to use the iPad and the happy games, and an iPad should be made easily available at each site. To encourage independent playing, iPad games must be made more logical. An interactive tool to support the choice of the game that is most suitable for the client and a database of dementia-friendly happy games may support the use of happy gaming by people with dementia, borh in health-care organisations as well as at home.

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