What is The Game Campaign?

 

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The Game Campaign is an evidence-based community response to dementia. Dementia is a cluster of more than 70 diseases, with Alzheimer’s being the most common form.

 

We have four goals:

  1. Reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia, on Pierce County
  2. Create and strengthen the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department relationships within the community directly and with partner organizations
  3. Create a competitive table game 'hub'  in Pierce County
  4. Provide other communities with a fun, low-cost model for offsetting the effects of dementia

To reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s we will engage thousands of people in on-going play of challenging table games. We will start with Backgammon, Bridge, Chess, Go, and Scrabble© as our games in Year 1.

Game Hub in Pierce County

Our partners have collaborated with regional and national game groups about the The Game Campaign, inviting participation with great results!

An Effective Model

We are gladly providing other communities with this innovative and engaging model for public health. In our communications about The Game Campaign in professional and mass media, we encourage our partners to do the same. Our model includes a report and programming guide, and includes a consultation model with other communities so that they can more easily establish their own versions.

Why is Dementia our focus?

Dementia is a cluster of more than 70 diseases, with Alzheimer’s the most common form.

Dementia is the sixth most frequent cause of death in the U.S.; locally it affects about 15,000 Pierce County residents, and creates an estimated $600 million in local medical costs each year. 

African Americans are twice as likely as white people to have dementia; Latinos are one and a half times as likely.

At present there is neither a prevention nor a cure for Alzheimer’s. But individuals may compensate for the effects of the disease by drawing on “cognitive reserve,” a sort of savings account for cognitive activities like reasoning and memory. 

Cognitive reserve can be built through mentally stimulating activities, including playing games like bridge and chess. Some research indicates this stimulation can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms by as long as seven years.

The Game Campaign is mobilizing dozens of community partners who in turn will engage thousands of people across Pierce County in Fall, 2017.  We hope the local effort can be as a model for communities across the U.S. and beyond.