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ENRICHING ACTIVITIES FOR ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS

March 4, 2013

Alzheimer’s disease can often be very challenging for both the patient and the caregiver.  Coming up with enriching activities for someone with Alzheimer’s is important for both their mental stimulation and stress relief, often needed by the loved one’s caregiver as much as the individual with Alzheimer’s.  Successful activities for persons with Alzheimer’s are those that support their sense of dignity, skills, memory, and habits, while avoiding skills that may be compromised as a result of the disease. When planning and participating in activities for a person with Alzheimer’s, keep in mind the following:
 

  • Activities need to be appropriate for the individual, keeping abilities and limitations in mind.
     

  • Be mindful of the time of day, as most people with Alzheimer’s react very differently in the evening, as compared to the morning.
     

  • Keep the focus of the activity on the enjoyment of it: it is the experience of the activity that is important, not the end result.
     

  • Offer support as needed and provide simple instructions one task at a time.
     

  • Stress a sense of purpose in the activity, such as saying you’d like to send a special thank-you card to someone and then invite the person to join you.
     

  • Substitute an activity for a behavior. If a person with dementia rubs his hand on a table, put a cloth in his hand and encourage him to wipe the table. Or, if he is moving his feet on the floor, play some music so he can tap them to the beat.


Some simple, yet engaging activities could include:
 

  • Music: Singing or playing a musical instrument can help stimulate imagination and be a source of great enjoyment.
     

  • Arts and Crafts: Drawing or painting allows a person with Alzheimer’s to communicate without the need for words.
     

  • Just for Fun: Try some activities that are just pure fun, like:
     

    • Blowing bubbles.

    • Picking and arranging flowers.

    • Baking and decorating cupcakes or cookies.


Remember, when interacting with someone with Alzheimer’s disease, there may be days when the activity just doesn’t work, and that’s okay.  Try again with a different activity or on a different day when things are calmer.

At AAging Better In-Home Care, we have a long history of engaging our Alzheimer’s clients and all of our clients, for that matter, with enriching activities that enhance quality of life.  Our caregivers and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are trained to work carefully with clients of differing levels of dementia or disabilities to ensure we help them achieve the best quality of life possible.

To learn more about our in-home care services, contact us online or give us a call at 208-777-0308 if you’re calling from the Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene or Hayden areas; 208-263-7889 in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas; or 208-784-1505 if you’re calling from the Kellogg, Pinehurst or Wallace areas.  We would be happy to assist you or your loved one or answer any questions you might have about living with Alzheimer’s or other disabilities.

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