I’ve been researching areas in the stroke field and the most seductive is lining up some folks to play games.

The website Seabo, “a leading global provider of affordable evidenced-based therapy solutions for individuals suffering from impaired mobility and function” has an article called “35 Fun Rehab Activities for Stroke Patients”

I’m scheduled to start rehab next week and the quicker I get with that the better.

On the Saebo article states, “Physical activity is important for increasing the chances of regaining function after a stroke. Through the power of neuroplasticity, exercises help stroke survivors reclaim abilities they had before their stroke. Over time, even light activity such as going for a walk or cooking will contribute to physical improvements and help prevent the deconditioning that leads to further deterioration.”

That’s been my goal from the get-go. Play some games, talk to some people, get out of my xxxx. And here is a condensed list of some activities and games:

Board and Card Games

1. Scrabble

Scrabble involves a variety of skills that stroke survivors can work on. Adding up the scores uses simple math, coming up with words requires cognitive flexibility, and the mechanics of the game involve simple grasp-and-release tasks.

2. Jenga

Playing jenga involves physical and mental coordination while stacking blocks and trying to keep the tower from falling.

3. Checkers

The mechanics of checkers involve simple grasp-and-release movements that can help stroke survivors improve their motor skills while cognitive flexibility and problem solving are required to perform strategic moves.

4. Battleship

Playing Battleship is good practice for stroke survivors with speech or word retrieval problems. Players have to use the simple words “hit” and “miss” and “sunk” to communicate. Inserting pegs in the board also helps with fine motor skills.

5. Connect Four

Connect Four improves attention and motor skills. Players pick up and drop small disks, and they pay attention to both their and their opponent’s pieces.

6. Scattergories

Scattergories involves listing words in different categories that all start with the same letter. This helps with language and word retrieval. For stroke survivors with more severe cognitive impairments, Scattergories Junior may be more appropriate.

7. War

War is a simple card game in which you flip over a card, and the person with the highest card wins. Playing war requires attention skills and hand coordination.

8. Poker

Playing poker helps challenge cognitive skills like sequencing and categorization.

9. Slapjack

Slapjack is played by flipping over cards and slapping the stack whenever a jack or two of the same number in sequence are played. Playing Slapjack requires attention and motor skills as well as hand eye coordination.

10. Uno

Uno helps stroke survivors work on decision making, attention, and visual discrimination.

(11-16 were boring …)

Creative Activities

17. Knitting

Knitting is a relaxing activity that can help stroke survivors take their minds off of their recovery. For survivors who are limited to one functional hand, a knitting aid makes one-handed knitting possible.

18. Photography

Taking pictures is a great way to practice creative expression without much physical effort. It also provides a great excuse to get outdoors and take in the surroundings.

19. Writing

Whether putting together letters, poetry, or stories, writing can be a great creative outlet for a stroke survivor. Journaling can also be therapeutic and help a survivor keep tabs on their emotions and recovery process.

20. Making Music

If the stroke survivor was a musician before their stroke, then they will likely enjoy it after as well. Singing along to music is an easy and fun activity. They can also play on a keyboard or piano with their unaffected hand.

21. Painting

Painting uses fine motor skills and helps stroke survivors practice their grip. Using different colors and textures also helps stimulate the brain.

22. Drawing

Drawing uses many of the same skills as painting, but it requires less equipment and is easier to clean up.

23. Pottery

Making pottery is an excellent activity for stroke survivors with limited arm and hand function. Clay is soft and easy to work with, and sculpting can help improve fine motor skills. Pottery can also be made with one hand.

24. Cooking

While it may require a few adaptive kitchen aids to help, cooking is an activity that can be both practical and fun.

25. Woodworking

Woodworking requires attention, problem solving, memory, and sequencing skills, in addition to various fine or gross motor skills.

Activities that Stimulate the Brain

26. Word Search

Word searches help a stroke survivor work on their perceptual skills and attention.

27. Crossword Puzzle

Crossword puzzles are available in a variety of skill levels and font sizes, so there should be one within almost every stroke survivor’s capabilities. Crossword puzzles help with word-finding skills.

28. Reading

Whether the material of interest is newspapers, magazines, or novels, reading is a great way to pass the time and engage the mind. Audio books are another great option for those with visual deficits.

29. Learning Sign Language

Activities that allow a stroke survivor to learn new skills are beneficial in multiple ways. Learning sign language both stimulates the brain and exercises the hands.

30. Meditation

Meditation can help lower stress, relieve chronic pain, and stave off depression.

31. Jigsaw Puzzles

Putting together a jigsaw puzzle improves both concentration and motor skills. Picking up and placing the pieces is a grasp-and-release activity.

32. Sudoku

Completing a challenging mental task like Sudoku stimulates and maintains the brain, creating more complex connections between brain cells.

Video and Computer Games

33. Wii Sports

Virtual reality games like Wii Sports have been found to motivate and help stroke survivors stay more committed to their exercise routines.

34. Computer Games

While traditional computer games do not incorporate physical exercise, they can help stimulate the brain. There are many brain games available on the computer that can help with skills like problem solving.

35. Dance Dance Revolution

For stroke survivors who are able to safely participate, playing games like Dance Dance Revolution can add to their exercise routine and encourage them to get moving.

So who is in for board games? Leave me a msg and let talk.

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