Are you looking for some fun and easy activities for Alzheimer’s to do with your loved ones?
Don’t worry, we’ll help you out!
It can be difficult to find enjoyable and appropriate activities for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, but we have collected a great list of available options to give a try!
Take a look!
The Importance of Staying Busy with Alzheimer’s Disease
If you care for or have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, it can sometimes feel challenging to keep them busy.
Because Alzheimer’s is progressive in nature, a person’s ability to participate in more advanced and involved activities will decline throughout the progress of the disease.
Alzheimer’s dementia impacts the mind – memory, cognitive ability, and physical strength and dexterity.
Selecting activities that are enjoyable, challenging, but not outside of a person’s mental and physical capabilities is important to maintain engagement.
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but regular participation in activities helps maintain daily structure and prevents boredom.
Initiation of activities becomes difficult as symptoms progress. Helping seniors with Alzheimer’s in daily scheduling, activity set up, and participation is essential to keeping their minds busy.
Seniors with this disease who do not participate in engaging activities are more likely to wander, feel fearful, worry, or withdraw from others.
Everyone is different – personal preferences, physical and mental abilities, and access to resources will impact which activities work best. Let’s explore some Alzheimer’s disease inclusive options for engaging activities!
10 EASY ACTIVITIES FOR ALZHEIMER’S
Puzzling is a great option for seniors with Alzheimer’s dementia.
There are many different options available for puzzle size, design, and difficulty. Puzzling is also a familiar and easily understood activity that many seniors enjoy.
Delegate a table or surface as the “puzzle area” to keep the activity organized and more engaging. This is a very popular activity for people of all ages, making it a great option to do together with family and friends.
#2 Knitting, Sewing, and Cross-Stitching
Many seniors (most often women) have some experience with knitting and sewing. If your loved one has some experience with sewing, offering them simple sewing tasks like adding buttons onto fabric may be a gratifying activity.
Activities that require more dexterity include cross-stitching or sewing, while knitting and crocheting use larger tools that may be easier to use.
#3 Laundry Folding and Sorting
Sorting and folding is a great way to keep hands busy! Offering a senior with Alzheimer’s a collection of small hand towels or fabrics to sort and fold is a great way to keep their brain engaged and their hands moving.
This is an excellent activity for seniors with limited dexterity and can provide a sense of purpose as they help you complete a task.
#4 Painting, Drawing, and Arts and Crafts
Many seniors have an artistic side – and it can be a creative way to keep them engaged! Painting (paint by numbers or freestyle), drawing, coloring, and other elderly crafts are great activities to use creative energy.
Providing too many craft options can be overwhelming for some, so be careful to keep things to the level adequate for your loved one.
Experiment with different art options and see what they enjoy the most – crafting can be a fun activity to do alone or with friends and family!
#5 Listening to Era Appropriate Music
Listening to music can be very soothing and relaxing – especially if it is music a person enjoys! Finding music that they enjoy (often music they grew up listening to) can help bring ease and comfort to space.
Some music can even bring back memories – making this a great activity to do with your loved ones!
#6 Playing with Dolls and Stuffed Animals
Many seniors enjoy caring for animals and babies. Human dolls and weight stuffed animals can be great companions for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.
Holding these dolls provides comfort and purpose. Additional play like feeding a baby or brushing a pet can also improve engagement.
#7 Reminiscing with Photo Albums
A great activity option to do with family and friends is looking through photo albums. Depending on the progression of the disease, self-recognition and understanding of the photos will differ from senior to senior.
Regardless of the extent of memory loss, spending time sharing past memories and looking at pictures is a great way to reminisce with your loved one about the past.
#8 Playing with Large Print Cards
Card games are a great way to promote cognitive function and memory. Large print cards with easy to see symbols can help with the identification and use of the cards.
There are many options for card games to play, from advanced games like solitaire and go-fish to simple tasks like sorting the cards by suit or color.
#9 Knot Untying
Using a large enough rope to be able to see and feel, tying, and then untying knots can be an engaging activity for seniors. This is a great way to work on dexterity and to keep hands busy.
#10 Conversation with a Trusted Person
If your loved one does not seem interested in doing physical activity, simply sitting down and having a conversation with them can be very enjoyable.
This can be an excellent opportunity to reminisce, talk about current events, and create a stronger bond with your loved one.
There are many available options available for fun and appropriate activities to do with a senior with Alzheimer’s disease.
Spending time together to figure out their personal preferences and abilities will help guide future activities – and it’s a great way to spend time with your loved one.
Be creative and try new things, there is no harm in trying a new activity. It’s ok if they don’t like it!
Do you have any great activities to do with a senior with Alzheimer’s? Share below!
Claire is registered nurse with experience in freelance medical writing. She is very passionate about geriatric nursing and seniors care and education (it is her favorite area of nursing). She worked with many seniors ina variety of medical settings to provide high-quality education and instructions about medical conditions and proper self-care. Follow her n LINKEDIN