Minecraft and Early Onset Dementia

a pilot study

Early research has begun to demonstrate that cognitive motor training improves both the cognitive and physical skills in significantly impaired dementia patients.  

An avid player of Minecraft, Sheree Honeyfield-Smith is also a skilled Somatic therapist, specialising in Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy, Mindfulness and Somatic Rehabilitation.

Pilot Study: opportunity to participate

Sheree is offering an opportunity for people who think they may have symptoms of early onset dementia, and who would like to see if they can improve their cognitive capacity and skills.

Learning to play Minecraft, and perhaps also learning mindfulness, will be central to the process. Participants will ideally have the capacity to learn Minecraft so that it becomes a personal therapeutic tool.

There have been a number of studies done overseas on this, it turns out.  One such study entitled Fighting Dementia with Play (neurosciencenews.com) talks about a play therapy platform being developed that can help older adults with dementia improve a range of cognitive skills.

With this research in mind, I have designed a simple project, based on overseas research and my own observations as a Minecraft player, together with my professional observations of the impact of gaming on cognition.

The project is being offered to the Southland community, and is supported by Dr Mathew Stokes at Lumsden Medical Centre.


Professional and Confidential

As this is a professional interest of Sheree's, it is low key and being offered for any therapeutic benefit that may be available to participants.

Learning the skills comes at no cost to participants, but any ongoing therapeutic support and evaluation does require payment.

Sheree will be conducting assessment and evaluation within a professional consultation process, and professional therapeutic support will be part of the process.

Ideally self evaluation will be a necessary part of the process, as this is a collaborative project with participant benefit uppermost.

As stress has been implicated in the development of dementia, Sheree endorses Minecraft as a potentially mindful and relaxing activity, with its own therapeutic benefits separate to dementia.

There are a number of ways the game can be played, depending upon your preference, and being able to shift focus, putting attention elsewhere, can have surprisingly relaxing benefits for wellbeing overall.

For more information please contact Sheree.

God bless the lost, the confused, the unsure, the bewildered, the baffled, and the perplexed.
Michael Leunig in When I talk to You: a cartoonist talks to God