Using a playing card holder takes the strain off your hands. Other players can roll dice or move pieces on your behalf. For games with several people playing, if you are not up to playing yourself, you could team up with another player and take as active or inactive a role as is appropriate. This also enables you to leave at any time. Games of pure luck can be played wholly or partially in your absence, with a counter being allotted to you. Games such as ‘snakes and ladders’ and ‘beggar your neighbour’ are also good if your brain isn’t up to a more skilful game. A time limit can be set for many games that would otherwise be too long, with the person who is winning at that moment being the winner. There are various forms of ‘patience’ which you may be able to watch another person playing. Being in the same room as other people while they play a game can be a pleasant, undemanding form of company (wear a blindfold and ear plugs or ear defenders if needed). Some games involve more skill for one player than the other so the ill person can take the easier role e.g. ‘mastermind’; ‘I spy’; ‘animal, vegetable, mineral’. Sensory guessing games can be fun – the person with M.E. wears a blindfold and has to guess the taste, or an object in their hand. Pencil and paper games are entertaining and some are quick. Gift shops sell ‘executive’ toys, bubble mills, mobiles, lava lamps and sand pictures. Charity shops sell jigsaws and games, and they might welcome an offer to check whether these items are complete.

Celebrations : Computer