HomeHealth ConditionsAlzheimer'sTop Ten Activities for People Living with Alzheimer’s

Top Ten Activities for People Living with Alzheimer’s

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Living with Alzheimer’s can cause confusion, stress and embarrassment when trying to interact in larger groups. It’s important to understand that Alzheimer’s is a chronic, progressive degenerative disease. Over time, patients can have a hard communicating with others. This doesn’t mean that an Alzheimer’s sufferer cannot have a rich and happy life. Below are ten suggestions of simple ways to make the quality of life of someone living with Alzheimer’s better and more fulfilling. Alzheimer’s activities are made up of activities that will keep them busy and give their brain something to do. They are also activities that can help calm a worried or upset Alzheimer’s patient.

Activities for Alzheimer’s Patients

1. Music

Playing someone with Alzheimer’s music from their favorite era will help remind them of joyful moments and create a feeling of relaxation and calmness for them. Try playing music for different moments of the day. Happy, joyful music can be perfect for an afternoon dance session. This will get them moving, it’s a fun way to give them some exercise. Play relaxing music when they are winding down for the day and it’s almost bedtime.

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2. Take a Walk

Taking a walk in nature can be a very beneficial and calming activity for those living with Alzheimer’s. It’s great for exercise, enjoying the outdoors and giving them access to the beauty of nature. Make sure they are prepared for their walk. Equip them with a walker or wheelchair depending on their mobility. Have them in proper footwear that’s comfortable and easy to put on, but that will also keep them safe. That way walking can be a fun activity for both of you and not a stressful one.

3. Household Chores

Doing household chores is a great way for someone living with Alzheimer’s to keep a daily routine and make them feel in charge of their life by keeping their own space clean. It can be as easy giving them clothes to fold, or a duster that they can pick up and start dusting when they feel agitated. Cleaning can be a meditative activity and can help reduce stress from confusion.

4. Puzzles

Doing simple puzzles with shapes and colors offers brain and sensory stimulation which helps keeps the mind active. There are many different types of puzzles from word games to simply pictures. Match the puzzle with their level of cognition.

5. Painting

Painting and doing art projects allows someone living with Alzheimer’s an outlet to be creative and helps keep their fine motor skills sharp. In Long Term Care Facilities there is often an arts and crafts room or daily art time. If your loved one is in one of these facilities, ask the nurses when these times are and mark them on a calendar so your loved one can participate in the activity.

6. Cook a Meal

Cooking a very simple meal with not a lot of ingredients is a great way to keep the Alzheimer’s sufferer active and helps them feel accomplished. Many seniors programs have a cooking element in them. See if you can find any activities or programs that revolve around cooking to make a schedule for them.

7. Watch Home Videos

This is a great way to reminisce on the past and jog lovely memories for the patient. Familiar faces in the home videos will help your loved one remember. It will also cause less confusion if they are seeing familiar faces instead of new ones. Family home videos allow them to watch short clips instead of having to follow a long story line.

8. Organize Personal Items

Depending on the patients past, engage them in simple organization of things from their past. Examples are: organizing office supplies, arranging books they liked to read, organizing photographs etc.

9. Gardening

Gardening is a very calming activity that involves repetition and is easy to do. Working in a garden also gives those living with Alzheimer’s a nice daily activity that gets them outside in nature.

10. Fish Tank

Watching fish is very calming and provides good conversation. This one of the great Alzheimer’s activities that will allow them to be on their own for a bit, but still be entertained in a calming way.

It’s important to remember that people living with Alzheimer’s can get frustrated and embarrassed very easily as their declining cognition leaves them feeling trapped. Patients should be in charge of the activities they partake in. Having options and the freedom of choice helps them feel empowered and more in control of their life. There are many ways to let them feel more in control. Make sure they have accessories to help them remain independent such as Adaptive Clothing to let them remain independent when dressing. Footwear with easy touch closures instead of laces are also available. Keeping them in control of everyday things will leave them feeling better and more comfortable.

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The Giving Care Team is a group of senior and adaptive clothing professionals dedicated to helping the elderly maintain a comfortable and dignified lifestyle with tips and secrets on how to get the most out of life when disability and age fight to stop us at every opportunity. The Giving Care Blog is a resource for seniors, their families and caregivers.

Comments
  • Hi!
    These are really helpful activities for seniors. It is true that seniors with AD feel confused and stressed when unable to convey or understand messages and feel embarrassed. I will definitely try to encourage my grandma get involved in these activities.

    October 17, 2017
  • Hi thanks for the tips they sound very useful and I’m hoping I’ll be able to adapt some for my husband who has Lewy Body Dementia- LBD -. We live in U.K. and I’m wondering if your group have any branches or know of similar here at home? John is 81 and was a very bright intelligent man holding an executive producer’s role within the BBC in London. He’s had many interesting hobbies – Family History being his lifetime’s activity. He’s written two books of his memoirs in early years and from after we married 59 years ago. But his life now is ‘filled with nothing’ poor thing with little motivation for anything. So so sad- he is still at home with me and we’ve just found a private part time carer to take some of the pressure from me. When he’s having a good day my John is there, almost anyway and very caring for me but bad days are BAD for him and for me. He’s begun to remove clothing at any chance he gets so your adaptive clothing sounds very interesting. Is this available in UK? I’ve not heard of it before. I’m sorry for my ‘long comment(s)’ I felt I wanted to share but also would love to hear from anyone who may be able to answer some of my questions. Thank you, Margaret UK

    August 7, 2019
  • My mom ask questions over and over for hours, she will not get involved in anything me and my 2 brothers take turns watching her for 5 days each only one brother works i am next to youngest we do have an older sister she is 60 for some reason she 30 min of it refuses to help us with our mom she left to help her daughter when she had a baby , but she has been back for over 2 years she has only seen her mom 2 times since she has been back..a little back story (sorry) my mom is 81 has been sick for about 10 years, my brother and i feel like we have lost our lives, not blaming my mom she can;t help it. i’m the one that has no patience with the questions , i mean for hours same question about 30 mins in i start feeling almost angry and agitated my mom does not do any activity gets up watches tv eats goes to bed up and down about 10 times then bed for the night and we do it all over again the next day…does this sound like im being selfish cause a have a real almost hatred toward my SISTER for not helping..and start telling my mom cause she will ask abou example…t her,,and tell her she want help which i shouldnt anyone else have problems like this and this is just a very very small

    September 4, 2019
  • Fidget Fiddle lap blankets are easily one of the best activities for individuals living with Dementia. I make them and they sell like hotcakes . The different items added are great for taking away anxiety and fidgetiness.

    March 1, 2021

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