Puzzles for Alzheimer’s


One of the nicest features of most puzzles is that they can be group activities. Picture, for example, a family sitting around the kitchen table, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle strewn about on the table top. These family members are working together to achieve a unified goal. Whereas games tend to foster competitiveness, puzzles can foster cooperation, everyone working for a shared goal, and this collaborative spirit can inspire conversation and socialization.

There are many types of puzzles, and almost all types can be considered appropriate puzzles for Alzheimer’s disease, or for any other dementia or cognitive disorder. We generally associate “jigsaw” and “crossword” with the word “puzzle”, but that term can also apply to brain-teasers; mazes; logic and mathematical puzzles; paper-and-pencil puzzles, like Sudoku, or the variety of puzzles found in our Senior Smart Puzzles and trivia books. You can find puzzles of most of these types in our store, and all are appropriate Alzheimer’s puzzles.

Put simply, a puzzle poses a problem to be solved. The problem-solving process is a cognitive exercise—puzzles have therapeutic value! We see repeatedly that the stimulation provided by these activities improves memory and brain function in people with dementia, as well as putting everyone involved in a better mood. See our Activities page to learn more about why activity is so essential for a person who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Click on the triangle to start the video
The Mountain View puzzle in the video is no longer available. See all of Ben’s Puzzles here

A puzzle should be fun for the person who is involved in solving it. A puzzle should not be too easy, nor should it be too hard. Puzzles that are too easy and solved quickly are disappointing; a puzzle needs to present a worthy challenge. On the other hand, puzzles that are too hard are discouraging; this is especially true for someone who is struggling with the effects of a cognitive disorder.

Puzzles for Alzheimer’s

Fortunately, over the last several years, puzzles for Alzheimer’s have become much easier to find; due, in large part, to a young man named Max Wallack, who, when he was a boy, enjoyed working jigsaw puzzles with his great-grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease. The reason he enjoyed this time with his grandma is that he saw that the simple activity made her happier. When he was still quite young, he started a public charity organization, Puzzles to Remember which collects puzzles and gives them to Alzheimer’s programs throughout the United States and beyond.

Max also persuaded puzzle maker Springbok to create a line of jigsaw puzzles specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease. They did this by cutting the pictures from their 1000 or 1500 piece puzzles using the dies from their line of children’s puzzles. The result is puzzles with 36 pieces (some with only 12 pieces), so they are easier, but they have pictures that are more appealing to adult sensibilities. Many of those puzzles are available in our store.

Another young man who has made a mark developing Alzheimer’s puzzles is Ben Atkinson-Willes. As a second year design student at Kingston University in West London, and inspired by his grandfather who had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Ben created a special puzzle designed to, “suit his (grandfather’s) need and respect his age.” Ben’s Puzzles are a little different: the edge of each picture makes up a frame for the puzzle, and a background design helps one recognize the correct piece. A selection of Ben’s Puzzles is also available in our store.

The video above shows one of Ben’s Puzzles being assembled. It’s the best way to demonstrate the ingenuity of design. (The cow is no longer available, but there are four other simple but stimulating images.) Ben’s puzzles were his first product, but since then he has developed some more activities and puzzles for Alzheimer’s that are quite ingenious and great fun.


Puzzles to Remember

 Puzzles for Alzheimer's | Puzzles to Remember

Puzzles to Remember




Bright colors, beautiful themes, memorable subjects; Puzzles to Remember are designed specifically to be Puzzles for Alzheimer’s.







Puzzles for Alzheimer's | Puzzle books can provide hours of entertainment and stimulation for someone who has Alzheimer's disease

Activity Books




Puzzle Books

Crosswords, spot-the-difference, trivia, missing words, mazes; all of these activities are fun and have a right answer. And all are cognitively stimulating. Here is a collection of puzzles with an appropriate level of difficulty. 

About Author

Degrees in psychology and education as well as professional certifications in business administration and website development gave John the ideal credentials to co-found and develop an internet presence dedicated to helping caregivers provide exceptional care to those who are no longer able to care for themselves because of the impact of dementia. Since 2007, Best Alzheimer's Products has earned national and international recognition as a place to go for help and advice, with the goal of making life better for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.


  1. Just found this useful site. My Dad has dementia and has been told puzzles are useful, especially crosswords. Thank you. Will have a browse.

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