The brain and mind oriented so called cognitive disorders include: PTSD, ADD, ADHD, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, bipolar, depression, strokes etc. Mind stimulating interactive games would be great help to reduce the severity of these problems. The family and informal caregiver can become the one who takes the mind oriented interactive games, then plays with the care recipient, thus lowering the cost of medicine. A good overview is at gamesforhealth.org
The caregiver can also help the care recipient to participate in clinical trials and do the necessary reporting. The monitoring of the general condition and vitals of the care recipient even when the caregiver is not on location can be accomplished via the Web by the ConnectR product of irobot.com or similar video capable Web terminal products allowing tele-conferencing so the care recipient would not feel alone.
In a recent statement the family caregiver organization says it well: "There are more than 50 million family caregivers in the USA and they provide 80 percent of the long term care services to the 100 million homebound people in need of care. These uncompensated services provided by the caregivers amount to more than 400 billion dollars annually."
One of the best ways to maintain and even improve one's health, in addition to the approved medical procedures, is mind-body interaction. It is a well established fact that when a person who is ill gives up and does not fight and try any longer, that person simply drifts away and expires.
This is especially true for the so called homebound people, the ones who need care. The combination of the people of the world who are either in need of care, like the frail elderly, the chronically ill and the disabled, or the providers of informal care like family and friends amount to half the population of the world. One third of the world's population is in need of care from family and friends and one sixth of the world's population are these caregivers. The professional studies which deal with mind-body interaction are called PsychoNeuroImmunology and NeuroPlasticity.
The ultimate purpose of this game, is to attend to the problems of care recipients and their caregivers.
We have a short book which describes the ideas, political and technical, of a system of how to bring about the health benefits of mind-body interaction resulting from cognitive and collaborative use of interactive games of skill on the Web, especially on the newer Web 2.0 (version 2) which is more like a person-to-person, social connection Web rather than just the finding and downloading of information in the style of Web 1.0. It is a well studied and analyzed fact that one of the best ways to improve and maintain better health of the people who are in need of care is involvement. This involvement can be either cognitive or collaborative. Both require involvement which increases the activity of the mind, thus improve mental and physical health. Both can be achieved via Web version 2.0.
One of the potential best ways to collaborate and get involved with cognitive activities is via the use of interactive games. But not games of chance, which are too stressful and stress is bad for health. The most helpful games are games of skill. Most card games like poker are based on, to a very large degree, on pure chance, and maybe some psychology to bluff and read the other players. But the chance element: what kind of cards a player may be dealt dominates the game. So we need a pure game of skill in which the chance element is totally eliminated. The problem is that chess is too complicated, checkers is too simple and Sudoku is a little artificial.
This project proposes a new game of skill based on the rules and purpose of poker, which is well known throughout the world, but, instead of chance, the play is performed based on rules of skill. This is a true story of such care recipient, Janine, a quadriplegic wife, and 24/7 caregiver husband, Laszlo, the inventor of board-based poker games: MindPowerPoker.
It should be noted that everybody can use MindPowerPoker in any and all its forms, not just the people in need of care and their caregivers. Of course we have, under final stages of development, a board version, a Wii version as well as an on-line contest version of the MindPowerPoker game.