Engaging Seniors with Dementia: Special Summer Events
In Engaging Seniors with Dementia: Summer Activity Guide, we covered some fun games and activities to keep our loved ones’ minds active. For bigger commitment (and bigger impact) activity planning, you can throw an event to keep seniors engaged! Are you planning a summer party or fete this year? If so, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Becoming a caregiver for a family member with dementia or alzheimer’s can be taxing when trying to plan events. So be sure to make events that will engage dementia patients, but also for you, to care for the caregiver so save from overloading on caregiver stress.
Summer Fete Game Ideas
Games are always a great addition to a party, encouraging people to get involved, socialise, and have fun. If people don’t want to play the games, they can enjoy watching and cheering as friends and family, especially grandchildren, take part.
- Guessing Games e.g. guess the name of the teddy, guess the weight of the cake, guess how many jelly beans in a jar
- Stalls e.g. a cake stall (encourage people to bake their own cakes for sale) or a book stall
- Hook a Duck
- Tin Can Alley
- Welly Throwing
- Ball in a Bucket
- Coconut Shy
- Active Minds dementia games
- Or try something a little different such as a marble game like Marble Chase, instructions below
In a tray, stand a large flowerpot (with a hole in the bottom) upside down, along with multiple marbles and a wooden spoon. The aim of the game is to spoon as many marbles as you can into the flower pot through the hole in 30 seconds. Winners can either be determined by setting a maximum number of marbles for people to get in, anyone that hits this number receives a prize. Or by taking names of all players and how many marbles were gathered. At the end of the fete, the person who got in the most marbles are announced the winner.
Summer Party Themes
Organising a party can be fun as it adds a different element to the event. You can plan everything around the theme, including the entertainment and food, as well as asking people to dress up in costumes associated with the theme. Themes that incorporate people’s past are great as they allow them to reminisce. Some great theme ideas are: Beach Theme, Caribbean Theme, 1970’s Theme, Mexican Fiesta Theme, Alice in Wonderland Theme or a Pirate Theme.
World Music Day
Music is incredibly emotive and a fantastic way to engage a person living with dementia, helping to lift their mood as well as sparking memories. Encourage people to listen to genres of music they may not normally listen to. Take time to talk about each song selection, asking what they liked about it and what they didn’t. Genre suggestions can be; Jazz, Classical, Rock n Roll, Motown, Musical, Folk, Pop, Country, Opera and Disco. Mix these up when playing them and encourage the person or group to guess the genre.