Even individuals diagnosed with memory loss diseases like Alzheimer's want to have fun. Enjoy any of the following favorites with them.
Bingo is a large group activity that provides time for socialization in the midst of the game. Concentration and focus isn't so essential that one can't be distracted for a bit. In other words, everyone still has fun even if one person didn't hear the caller say "B-7".
A classic game of dominoes can be both enjoyable and nostalgic. Matching dots and counting by fives exercises the brain, too. More complicated uses for dominoes like 42 or Mexican train could become frustrating, though, depending on the degree of impairment.
If you haven't played Old Maid as an adult, you've missed out on some quality laugh therapy. The simplicity of the game is deceptive when you realize you can't keep a straight face when your opponent draws the Old Maid.
Exercise the memory by playing a game of Memory with an Alzheimer's patient. Turn cards face down and take turns flipping over two cards at a time, looking for a match. When you find a match, remove those cards from the playing area until no matches are left. If the cards you turn over don't match, place them face down again and try to remember where they were when you do turn over their match.
Checkers is another classic game you can enjoy with a loved one with dementia. It combines the need for basic strategy with the opportunity for friendly competition and socialization.
Playing games exercises the memory-impaired individual's mental functions in a low-stress and enjoyable way. As you well know, muscles that are exercised regularly are much less likely to atrophy.