Engaging in Activities with Elderly
Persons Who have Alzheimer’s Disease
When diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, often patients are told the things that they should not be doing. While there absolutely needs to be alterations in life style by people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, this doesn’t completely limit their ability to do normal everyday activities. Especially while the disease is still in its earlier stages, it’s important to continue doing the things you enjoy most – and routine can help to increase memory and brain function. Often because patients are diagnosed with a disease that will eventually hinder their ability to live independently, this prematurely leads to decreased activity and isolation from the normal hustle and bustle of an active lifestyle.
Activities That Bring Pleasure to Those with Alzheimer’s
Keep your loved one interested in the hobbies that brought them pleasure in the past is important after a disease diagnosis. These activities help stimulate memory in people with Alzheimer’s:
- Have discussions that kindle old memories
- Cultivate emotional connections with others
- Encourage in them ways to self-express themselves
- Lessen the irritability and anxiety that can be brought on by Alzheimer’s
- Motivate those with Alzheimer’s feel invigorated with life
What activities best suit seniors with Alzheimer’s?
This answer depends on the individual. As AARP.org explains, it is essential to create activities that are meaningful and are not intended to only fill time. Find interests from their past, knowing that some activities may need to be modified for safety or practicality. Keep in mind that Alzheimer’s affects senses and behaviors as well as memory function. Activities that might have been enjoyed before can now be frustrating and overwhelming. This is an important area for quality of life and daily memory care exercises can help as much as simple reminders.
Suggested Activities to Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s
Here are 10 memory engaging activities to try with your loved one. Certain activities may work better at different times of day. Understand that your loved one’s level of interest or involvement may decline as Alzheimer’s progresses. These are some memory care skills that Alvita Care’s caregivers are specially trained to perform; we’d love to suggest other activities too!
- 1. Play music and sing songs.
- 2. Arts & crafts, try knitting or painting. Keep the patterns simple and the tools to a minimum.
- 3. Organize household items or bookkeeping, especially if they find pleasure in being organized.
- 4. Cleaning around the house. Sweeping the patio, wiping down the table or folding towels. Try different household duties that bring a sense of accomplishment.
- 5. Care for a garden or visit a botanical garden.
- 6. Reading the newspaper.
- 7. Look through books that once brought them joy.
- 8. Baking or cooking simple recipes with your loved one.
- 9. Put puzzles together.
- 10. Look back at old photos. Watch home videos of family and friends.
Flexible & Supportive Approaches to Memory Care
Whenever your loved one gets frustrated or resists performing an activity, pause and take a break and talk about something else. You can go back and try again later. It is important to keep asking your loved ones if they think the activity needs be changed and whether they feel the need to make it more enjoyable.
Remember to concentrate on the process of an activity and not the results. In the big picture it does not matter if the puzzle ever gets put together. What really matters is that each enjoys time spent with others working together on a project with feelings of being useful and contributing meaningfully towards a project.
Our Special Skills for Helping Patients with Alzheimer’s or Dementia:
Our caregivers are available to assist with personal care, household services, respite and/or companion care while bringing exceptional compassion, skills and knowledge about Alzheimer’s and dementia to our clients.