7 Tips for Planning Activities for Alzheimer’s

Working with Alzheimer’s patients, I am often challenged.  How do I find activities that are enjoyable and engaging for my residents?

Some tips to keep in mind are:dancing

  1. Focus on the enjoyment of the activity and not the results. I had one lady that would play checkers with me.  This mainly meant moving the pieces around the board.  We made up the rules as we went along.  Yet, she was enjoying herself so that’s all that mattered.
  2. Be aware of physical impairments, including sight and hearing problems
  3. Keep the individuals skills and abilities in mind
  4. Relate to activities that were previously enjoyable through either hobbies or work life
  5. Look for activities that are enjoyable for the person
  6. Set a schedule for when certain activities are conducted {this can even include meals and bathing routine}
  7. Consider the capabilities of the individual

What do you take into consideration when planning activities?

Caregiving Monday: 5 Activities You Can Do to Keep Your Loved One Active with Alzheimer’s

Do you struggle with finding activities for your dementia patient?  Often it is difficult to find activities they are able to do or to keep their interest for long.  None of these activities have to be very long, but are a couple of ideas of activities to help keep the brain active and interacted.

  1. Music is always great.  It soothes the soul and reaches into the recesses of the mind where other avenues may not be able to elderly dancingreach.  Put on a CD with your loved one’s favorite music or sing along with them.  Even if all they remember are songs you learned as a child, this is a great device to keep them active.  Depending on their capabilities you can add activity to the music such as tossing a balloon, using scarves, using instruments, etc.
  2. Puzzles are a great way to keep the mind active.  This can be a physical puzzle, cross word puzzle or Sudko {depending on the person’s interest}.   Depending on the individual’s capabilities even easy puzzles designed for toddlers are worth the effort.
  3. Picture books are a great way to help a person remember family, friends, and places.  You can help them flip through the picture book and ask who that person in.  Begin to talk about memories of that person or place and allow your loved on to fill in some of the blanks.puzzle
  4. For more advanced cases of dementia when they are limited in their ability, ask to help you fold washcloths and socks.  Even if you have to refold them, at least you are making the person feel useful.  Please wait until you’re in another room to refold them.
  5. Older people love to dance.  Even if they are not physically able to stand up and dance, you can hold their hands and swing your hips.  For them this is dancing.  They may not want to do this for long but even a short song like Let Me Call You Sweetheart or On Moonlight Bay is a start.

What activities have you done with Alzheimer’s patients?


5 Activities You Can Do to Keep Your Loved One Active with Alzheimer’s