Engaging Activities for People with Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Engaging Activities for People with Dementia or Alzheimer’s
Dominique Curtin, 2/5/2017
When your senior loved one is diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, it could be extremely difficult adjusting to a new way of life. Often, people are unprepared to handle the new way they have to interact with a parent or loved one. Many family caregivers experience stress that they are not keeping their loved one engaged and happy.

This article will list some dementia friendly activities that could be helpful for you and your loved one to do together.

Activities for Seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

  1. Walking! Have them take a walk with you around the neighborhood. It is great exercise, gives them a chance to get out of the house and is wonderful to keep their spirits up. Also, it is a good idea to make it a daily routine for them (weather pending of course!)
  2. When preparing a meal, have them help you. If you are shucking corn or fixing a salad, ask for them to assist you. It gets your loved one involved in their meal preparations which could give them a sense of accomplishment and help with their loss of appetite. Don’t be afraid to have them help you with setting the table and cleaning up also! It gives you a break and keeps them involved, a win-win.
  3. Just because they have Alzheimer’s, doesn’t mean they can’t pitch in. Ask your loved one to dust picture frames. It could be a nice chore for them to look at all of their loved one’s familiar faces.
  4. Do you have a garden? If so, ask them to help you with gardening (as long as the weather permits). If you don’t have a garden, some yard work could do the trick too (i.e raking the leaves, sweeping the walk way, or even retrieving the mail!)
  5. Clip coupons! This is a double win because, you can turn around and use the coupons, or not use them, but it is still fun because you can do this activity together and save a couple bucks in the process.
  6. Have a calm pet visit. They are perfect to have around for some joy and pleasant interaction. Tip: When the pet is visiting, have you and your loved one take them for a walk!
  7. Read the paper aloud. Many older people were avid paper readers (there was no internet back then to get the news) so reading the paper aloud to them could be a very enjoyable and familiar experience.
  8. Your senior loved one may find it delightful to hear the birds chirping, so hanging a bird feeder out in your back yard or front porch could keep them engaged! They could sit and watch the birds come and go, and enjoy their chirping. Tip: You and your loved one could string cheerios together to hang by the bird feeder as well!
  9. Write a letter to a family member. This could be a great way to make memories for your family. Have your senior loved one talk about what they would like to send to your family member and you write.

Warning Signs your senior loved one needs a rest

At the end of the day, make sure you set realistic expectations for your loved one. While planning these activities, make sure you incorporate times when they can rest or take a brief nap. If you find your senior loved one becoming increasingly irritable, lethargic or disorientated, it could mean they are ready for a rest or nap. It is important to strike a balance between keeping them active and entertained, but don’t push their limits. Some of these suggestions may seem mundane, but it is important to keep it simple so your loved one doesn’t get frustrated at you, or themselves. The main goal is to keep busy, enjoy your time together, and make cherished memories.
Dominique Curtin

Dominique Curtin

Dominique is the Digital Content Manager for HomeCare.com, a leader in the caregiver referral service industry. She has marketing expertise in the healthcare industry and has a passion for helping families connect with the best caregivers. In addition, she has helped lead several company's marketing programs across websites and social media platforms.