Several large scale studies, most notably the MacArthur Study, found that people who participate in leisure time activities such as jigsaw puzzles have a better quality of life, longer life expectancy and decreased incidence of such brain illnesses as dementia, memory loss and most notably, Alzheimer's disease.
Current brain research shows that some forms of mental exercise, like jigsaw puzzles, can slow the progression of the disease. Jigsaw puzzles are especially helpful as they stimulate multiple areas of the brain at once.
As Jim's health deteriorated, he increasingly enjoyed seeing old family photos, listening to music from our generation, watching occasional game shows on television and working on jigsaw puzzles. Family photos transformed into large-piece puzzles have provided us both with a great deal of pleasure. They bring back fond memories, promote social interaction and conversation and Jim meets with success each time he completes one. The puzzles also serve as constructive diversions when it becomes necessary to redirect his attention. Our thanks to Portrait Puzzles and Pieces of the Past...the puzzles have brought us a good deal of comfort and peace of mind. Nikki, spouse
Jigsaw puzzles are a great activity that Jim enjoys as an option when he tires of television or the newspaper. He works on his puzzles independently two or three times a week. He is particularly fond of those that include his 1930 Model A. He begins by sorting the straight edge pieces and then completes the puzzles most often using shape rather than color as a guide. His speed and accuracy have really improved over the past year. The large pieces enable him to work successfully. The jigsaw puzzles are fun and colorful and he seems to get a real sense of satisfaction when completing them. Susie, caregiver
Alzheimer's patients, who are often agitated, seem calmer and more focused when they work jigsaw puzzles.
"I can endorse the work Pieces of the Past is doing to provide personalized jigsaw puzzles to individuals with various types of dementia. Research is certainly suggesting that active mental stimulation (problem-solving, challenging reading, crafts) can slow the progression of cognitive debilitation--and the earlier one starts, the better. The puzzles are excellent tools to help the family member redirect his or her attention and to become socially engaged and mentally stimulated."
Allen J. Ottens, PhD
Northern Illinois University
Emeritus Professor of Counseling
Faculty Associate in Gerontology
"Roses whisper...once upon a memory. My mother, Beverly, with warm, gentle gestures reached out and lovingly held photos of her loved ones. Oh, the comfort of peaceful assurance as she recognized a face and smiled tenderly.
Portrait Puzzles and Pieces of the Past would have filled her heart with the pride of accomplishment and blessed her soul with JOY!
If only...if only we had known about this treasure. Near or far....I sincerely encourage you to give this gift to your family for it will delight for generations."
Linda M. Morden
Caregivers Support Group, Circle of Hope Friends Social, Galena, IL