A Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), or Stroke, can be devastating for an individual. Often times it leaves a person at very least feeling groggy, unorganized, forgetful and exhausted.
Neuroplasticity is the way the brain heals itself after the devastating effects of stroke leave the brain compromised. From here the brain needs to be challenged to start developing new neural pathways. Often times games can be a fun and challenging way to help speed the process up. Lets talk about our favorite games to challenge a patient while recovering from a stroke.
1. Connect Four
This is a great game for challenging dexterity, gross and fine motor skills (while using the involved arm/hand) and also challenge you to use tactics like anticipatory skills, logic and gives a competitive edge. This usually is a nostalgic game that often gets the patient thinking in terms of long term memory.
This provides a similar feedback to the patient like Connect Four does in challenging fine motor and dexterity. Picking up to small letters then being challenged to place them very carefully on the Scrabble letter holder then onto the board. This also challenges the patient to not only work on fine motor skills but also cognitively. The patient is challenged to work fine motor skills along with retaining all the different letters, sounds, and putting everything together to create words. The game can be difficult to start out for some people which is why our Occupational Therapists recommend starting just with the tiles and spelling your name out, along with some other simpler tasks.
This again can be a difficult game to start at first as it requires both fine and gross motor skills along with strategic thinking and strategies. This game might take a while however the benefits over a long period of time practicing can quickly reap benefits. To increase the difficulty of the game, you can add a timer allowing only a short period of time to determine your move then carry it out.
Jenga is a fun way to challenge hand-eye coordination as well fine motor skills. This game also is a very clear cause and effect game. Always a fun and exciting game to play and the real benefit comes in stacking the blocks after they come crashing down!
5. Card Games
Everyone usually has a deck of cards. Cards offer the ability to progress your dexterity and strategic thinking. Of course this can also be something that can be difficult for people to do so here are some handy things that can be found for a reasonable price to get you started!