Windows Computer Apps for Dementia

Computers can be a great tool to engage people with dementia. While not as plentiful as apps for tablets, there are still quite a few available for Windows 8/10 computers. We have selected a variety of games and apps for people with dementia that we have tested and that follow Montessori principles. We strongly recommend a touchscreen as some people will have trouble using a mouse and keyboard. All of the recommended apps can be downloaded for free from the links provided. Some offer premium versions with additional features for a small fee.

For more information, see our Computers and Dementia blog post.

Puzzle Touch
Puzzle app for dementia

This is a great app for doing jigsaw puzzles on the screen. The app comes with twelve puzzles in each of four categories, but even better, it will create a puzzle from your own photos to make it even more personal and fun.

Choose the number of pieces from 6 to 48 (up to 1000 pieces if you buy the unlocked version from within the app, but that's really not necessary), and choose whether or not you want the pieces oriented the correct way or not. We recommend starting with 6 pieces and no rotation until the person is familiar with the concepts. If this proves to be too easy, increase the number of pieces before adding rotation to the mix.

Download PuzzleTouch

Flow Free app for dementia
Flow Free

Free Flow is a fun and addictive puzzle game. Connect the matching coloured dots with pipes to create a flow, but don't let the overlap or cross or they'll break. A fun cognitive exercise for people in the earlier stages of dementia.

Download Free Flow

Tic Tac Toe app for dementia
Tic Tac Toe Deluxe

Play Tic Tac Toe against the computer or against an opponent. Choose from 3 different themes to make it more fun and interesting. Note that while Random Salad (the creator of this app) has excellent apps, their format includes an advertisement on screen and no option to upgrade to a version with no ad. The ads can be distracting, but we still recommend these apps.

Download Tic Tac Toe Deluxe

Word Twist app for dementia
Word Twist

The object of this word game is to spell words from the six random letters presented. We recommend starting with "Kid's" mode and only moving to the more difficult levels if the person with dementia finds it too easy. We suspect they won't. A lot of fun and a great cognitive challenge.

Download Word Twist

Hangman Pro
Hangman app for dementia

Another classic word game. In the standard one player game, the app chooses the word or phrase and the player guesses the letters. As always, we recommend the "Easy" category to start, only moving on if it proves too easy for the person. We find the handwritten, chalkboard lettering a bit distracting but it doesn't seem to be a problem for the people with dementia who have used the app.

We don't recommend the two person game for pitting two people against each other as that definitely does not follow Montessori principles, but we have found a good use for this version. Instead of the app choosing a word for the other player to guess, it allows you (as the second player) to do it, giving you the opportunity to select a word or phrase that is appropriate for the person. Once the person guesses the word, you simply stay in the role of being the word creator rather than switching and becoming the player.

The format of this app includes an advertisement on screen and no option to upgrade to a version with no ad. The ads can be distracting, but we still recommend these apps.

Download Hangman Pro

Dominoes app for dementia
Dominoes

It doesn't quite have the sound of the clicking dominoes, but the game is good. Choose two players (which is actually one player and the computer), and start with the "Block" game as it's the easiest. Simply slide the domino tile up to match a domino that has already been played. The app highlights your dominoes that can be played (graying out the ones that have no play). Once you start moving a tile, the app shows the place(s) on the board where the tile can be played.

For a similar, non-computer version check out our Match the Dots activity.

The format of this app includes an advertisement on screen and no option to upgrade to a version with no ad. The ads can be distracting, but we still recommend these apps.

Download Dominoes

Matched app for dementia
Matched

This is a challenging game to form matches of three cards that have either all the same, or all different attributes. Our TRIO activity is similar and is a much better way to learn the concepts and help the person with dementia become familiar with the game. Once TRIO has been mastered, this is an excellent app to use the same skills. This app is for people in the earlier stages of dementia.

The format of this app includes an advertisement on screen and no option to upgrade to a version with no ad. The ads can be distracting, but we still recommend these apps.

Download Matched

Word Search app for dementia
Word Search

A classic word search puzzle app. You can choose the level of difficulty (from four levels) as well as categories of words. The "easy" level of puzzle in the app is comparable to our Level 2 laminated puzzles, and unlike ours the app puzzles have diagonals and backwards words which can be confusing for people with dementia.

Download Word Search