New puzzles developed to mimic the experience of having dementia

Unless you have a diagnosis of dementia, you can never really understand what it is like to live with the condition on a day-to-day basis. From research and through caring for people with dementia, we know it can be very hard to deal with and often some of the simplest tasks can leave a person feeling frustrated, angry and irritated.


Dementia Trust UK and Babylon Health have teamed up to create impossible puzzles that mimic the experience of someone with dementia in order to highlight how people with the condition can often feel set up to fail.

There are five puzzles, which all appear simple at first, but are designed to be impossible to solve. A memory game ensures the player fails endlessly, while a recognition test will make the player doubt themselves.

One puzzle requires the player to click on the letter ‘A’, but it keeps moving once clicked, creating the feeling of humiliation in the player from not being able to complete it.

At the bottom of each puzzle is an explanation from Professor June Andrews, a dementia expert, nurse and author, who helped create the puzzles.

A ‘guaranteed to fail’ puzzle will cause a person to feel annoyed, angry, dismissive, paranoid, anxious, irritated and depressed. All of these feelings make life harder for a person with dementia.

 It’s recommended that we don’t ask people with dementia questions if we can help it, don’t correct things that don’t matter and avoid bringing to the attention of the person with dementia that they are failing a mental challenge, as this only makes things harder for them.

To give the puzzles a go yourself, click here.