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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.