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A card game for people with dementia... with no rules

Words by Tess Becker

Having a loved one struggling with a neurological disorder like Alzheimer's is never easy, but there are things that can help slow mental decline. Social interaction in particular has been shown to help people struggling with memory impairment tremendously.

Now a new card game, called (Hoo-dee-ay), hopes to help bring families together and help people with dementia.

The game was designed by Emily Rinkema and Deb Emerson and is meant to make active engagement easier and more dignified. The two were inspired to start the game company after spending years alongside their loved ones living with different forms of dementia. 

One of the troubles they found was that games that their loved ones could play were made with children in mind and not adults, and so they wanted to create something more dignified and still fun. 

The game itself has no rules, and each set of cards has high-quality pictures of things like cars or birds and is meant to elicit conversation or memories from loved ones to help stimulate the brain.

“Everyone has a connection to someone unfortunately, there’s unfortunately a never ending audience for the product which is sad,” Rinkema said. “Everybody ends up saying ‘Oh my grandmother, my mother, my sister, my brother are suffering from living with dementia.”

Each set of 23 cards comes with a suggestion sheet for game recommendations but they’re really open to play however you want.

“[This] is what (Ho-dee-ay) is all about: enjoying the time we have together at this moment,” the company’s website states.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs