Although dementia robs people of many things, our innate curiosity does not seem to be easily erased. Like scratcher lottery games, we all want to know what’s hidden under the blue screen. We’d like to find a winning lottery number, but mostly we just want to uncover the mystery. We’ve found that people who don’t recognize the pictures hidden beneath the blue screen still want to rub it away and find out what’s there. Sometimes the picture sparks a memory, sometimes they ask “who’s that?” but it doesn’t matter. There’s no such thing as failure with SilverLark, just enjoying one picture after another in a new way. One physical therapist said “Each picture is like unwrapping a gift.” Everyone likes to unwrap presents, solve mysteries, to see what’s in the envelope and when you put your photos into SilverLark that gift might be a memory.
Completing a matching game and getting a smile and applause is fun if it’s 12 cards or 4. And if the matching game has a few pictures that are recognized, so much the better. You might want to take turns turning over the cards. Make it an opportunity to play a game together.
Your parent or patient might not remember the family pictures you load into the SilverLark library, and in more advanced stages of dementia the caregiver may have to guide the finger across the screen or play a matching game with only 2 cards, but curiosity pulls people into the game. And if the fun of playing only lasts 5, 10 or 15 minutes, so what? That’s 5 minutes of enjoyment. And if they don’t remember it, that’s still 5 minutes that were fun and it will be a new game again tomorrow.