For those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, keeping the brain engaged through stimulating activities not only provides a way to pass the time, but can also boost self-esteem, reduce stress and moments of upset and even bring back long-forgotten memories. Plus, finding activities for those with Alzheimer’s offers a way for you to stay connected to loved ones, so you can continue to build your relationship as the disease progresses.
Boost Quality of Life with these Activities for Adults with Dementia
Keep in mind that some of the activities or hobbies loved ones previously enjoyed may be too complicated or frustrating at this point in their lives. Instead, focus on all the things the individual can still do, and play to his or her strengths. You might find a new activity you both enjoy and look forward to whenever you spend time together.
Here are few ideas of memory care activities that could improve your loved one’s overall quality of life:
Sort through old photographs. Grab that shoebox of old photos from your childhood or of your loved one’s youth and start arranging them by decade. You can even bring some empty photo albums and start filling them up with the photos, and then look through the albums together the next time you visit. Ask your loved one to share stories of what’s going on in each photo if he or she is able to.
Create a scrapbook. Scrapbooking is another great memory care activity, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Buy an inexpensive notebook and allow your loved one to find images they enjoy in magazines or newspapers, then simply cut them out and glue them to the empty pages, making a collage of sorts.
Read a favorite book. Find a book your loved one has always enjoyed and read it out loud. Encourage conversation about favorite characters or storylines; ask what’s coming next or how the story ends.
Listen to music. Music is known for being an effective form of therapy for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. It evokes feelings and memories from the past, can strengthen emotional ties and reduce stress and agitation. Create a playlist of songs from your loved one’s early years and get lost in the music together.
Work on a puzzle. Stick with simpler puzzles with fewer pieces and work on completing them together. Let your loved one take the lead, offering words of encouragement as needed. Allowing the individuals to complete the puzzle on their own provides a sense of accomplishment.
Try a coloring book. Coloring can be a meditative activity for those of all ages, and you don’t have to be a skilled artist to create something beautiful. There are a variety of adult coloring books available on the market today. This would be a great opportunity for your loved one to share in a memory care activity with grandchildren.
Make a favorite recipe. Go through your family cookbook and select a fairly simply recipe your loved one always enjoyed. Allow the individual to help mix ingredients, knead dough, or cutout cookie shapes as needed.
Remember, the most important thing is to find the best activities for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, and focus on the task at hand over the end result. Once you find the right activity, make it part of your loved one’s routine to add more structure, and therefore more comfort, to the day.
American Senior Communities offers a person-centered, wellness-based model of dementia care within our Auguste’s Cottage program and our assisted living memory care apartments throughout our locations. Contact us today to request more information.