10 Activities for Seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s
According to the Alzheimer's Association, it's important to implement routine and creative daily schedules to those who may be dealing with Alzheimer's or Dementia. Routines and creativity can help seniors stay focused, promote relaxation, and decrease the risk of depression. At the same time, one can bring joy, purpose, and positivity to a daily routine.
In these routines, there are plenty of ways for family caregivers to cherish great moments and memories together. Start with simple and fun activities that provide joy, mental and physical stimulation, and boost emotional well-being.
Keep in mind that the activities may also change according to a senior's mood, physical and mental abilities. It's important to keep having open discussions and list what brings them joy and what they're capable of doing that given day – that way, seniors can still have fun and feel engaged.
For example, we all know that social interaction is essential, but if an individual is having a more challenging day, consider meeting with smaller circles of people instead of larger social gatherings. It's also important to combine activities inside and outside with a caregiver or loved ones who can help.
Here are 10 activities seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer's can do with caregivers or loved ones to bring joy and consistency into their everyday lives:
- Listen to some favorite music
We all appreciate the gift of song. According to the Mayo Clinic, music can also reduce stress by lightening the mood of the caregiver and the senior. If a senior has a particular type of music they enjoy, put an album on and listen with them. Sing along or incorporate a bit of movement for added benefit and fun.
- Arrange flowers in bouquets
As simple as it sounds, arranging flowers in a bouquet is an excellent activity that stimulates positivity and joy. Perfect for those with Alzheimer's or dementia, this activity is creative, stress-free, and engages the mind and brain, reducing agitation and promoting a feeling of safety.
- Talk about childhood, family, school, or pets
Engaging in conversations about pleasant memories encourages self-expression and positive thinking. Asking questions about their childhood or family can support those memories and help a person feel connected to their experiences. And it's great for family bonding.
- Look at old family photo albums
Looking at old family photos can also be an excellent way to bring a senior joy! You can ask them about family members and events or admire the pictures together.
- Bake cookies or bread
It's always nice to have the house smell like baked treats, and the familiar scents of one's favorite bread or cookies can stimulate their senses and make them feel happier. Try making simpler recipes together and put on some music while you bake.
- Take a walk outside
People with Alzheimer's and Dementia need to engage with the outdoors and get in a little bit of exercise, and this activity accomplishes both. Whether it's a walk around the neighborhood or just down the block, getting outside boosts endorphins, which are excellent for reducing anxiousness.
- Water plants
Help a senior feel accomplished and engaged with the outdoors, especially if they can't do strenuous physical activity. Watering plants is another way they can interact with plants and colors.
- Sit on the porch and drink coffee, hot chocolate, or lemonade
Activities don't always have to be "active." Getting out to enjoy a refreshing drink is an easy way to get some fresh air; the taste – like the smell – is a potent memory booster.
- Play catch or toss a ball around
If a senior can perform slightly more intense physical activities, tossing a ball around in the front or backyard can be a great way to spend time together and exercise. Try tossing a larger, lighter ball that's easier to throw and catch.
- Do a simple table activity like a puzzle or arrange colored letters
Puzzles are excellent brain engagers. You can sit at a table on the porch or in the living room and do a puzzle with fun pictures and colors or arrange colored letters around – they don't even have to make words! Fun activities like these ease agitation and provide a feeling of accomplishment.
These activities all have a similar goal – supporting peace of mind, independence, and engagement while simultaneously providing safety and positivity.
Check out our free guides. These guides include scientifically-backed statistics, activities, and more, from family caregiver support to information about what to expect as we age.
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
We believe that every senior should experience the best in life. At Comfort Keepers®, we create individual care plans for every client. These plans include wellness goals that consider physical, mental and emotional health. Our caregivers can help support physician-prescribed exercise plans and help seniors engage in the activities they love the most. And our caregivers can help seniors stay connected with loved ones through video chats, phone calls, and care updates. If you have questions about Comfort Keepers uplifting in-home care services, don't hesitate to contact us today.
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