For dementia and arthritis patients alike, jigsaw puzzles with many pieces, small pieces and/or detailed images can be simply too difficult. MindStart puzzles, designed by occupational therapist Monica Heltemes, are unique due to the fact that the images have very few, simple objects in each, making it easier for the user to find pieces that coincide. This design feature, along with having fewer puzzle pieces and images from adult life, allows the person with dementia to have the right level of mental stimulation and dignified success.
MindStart was founded in 2010 by occupational therapist Monica Heltemes. She has been working with persons suffering dementia in various capacities for over 15 years. Monica's passion for helping persons with memory loss and their caregivers led to the design and development of the MindStart products. MindStart products have been tested in memory care units and with many family caregivers. They are based on scientific theories and research, including the Theory of Retrogenesis by Dr. Barry Reisberg, Allen Cognitive Theory by Claudia Allen, and concepts of occupational therapy practice. Furthermore, acknowledgement goes to Theressa Burns, OTR/L for her mentorship. Monica plans to broaden the product line in the near future.