When a loved one — a mother, husband, or best friend — has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it can be really difficult to keep them engaged in activities that still give their lives meaning. We know that Alzheimer’s is a slow, progressive disease that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. We know that it’s going to get worse over time, but we still have time. Senior Lifestyle News offers 8 stimulating activities for seniors with Alzheimer’s.
Routine House Cleaning
One of the most important things you can do for your loved one right at the start is to provide them with a routine. Housekeeping is something that has to be done every day. It’s an activity that you can redirect your loved one to if they become confused, and the familiarity of their household can serve to minimize their frustration level. As with every activity discussed here, both the person and the environment need to be assessed to ensure your loved one’s safety. As time goes by, people with Alzheimer’s disease lose their safety awareness and develop judgment deficits.
If a person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has been a lifetime lover of gardening, then this activity should be a priority for them as long as possible. Senior Lifestyle News suggests that the use of power tools should be carefully supervised or eliminated entirely, and the job of cutting the grass should probably be allocated to someone else. That said, there is plenty to do in the garden, and the sense of accomplishment after planting new items also improves self-esteem.
Cooking and Baking
When we talk about cooking, we’re not talking about whipping up a souffle. However, you can involve and interest your loved one by having them help you mix ingredients or stick to the easier recipes such as cookies and casseroles.
Arts and Crafts
The good thing about arts and crafts is that they can be as simple or as complex as your loved one can handle. Painting can be with brushes or fingers. Sculpting with clay is always a fun activity, and knitting is certainly calming.
Solving puzzles is another activity that can be as complex or as simple as your loved one can tolerate. Depending on the stage your loved one is at, they may be able to manage jigsaw puzzles or even word puzzles. Puzzles should not have too many components or pieces in order to minimize the frustration level.
Organizing items such as nuts and bolts, coins, or silverware is a routine task that can provide a sense of accomplishment. It can also be a way for the caregiver to perform tasks while their loved one is busy organizing.
Playing a Game
If your loved one enjoyed playing games prior to the development of Alzheimer’s, then chances are they will still enjoy at least simple games. Easy card games, matching objects, and Bingo are games that everyone can play, so it doesn’t have to be a solitary activity.
Listening to Music and Singing
Listening to music and singing are multipurpose activities. Music can calm your loved one when they are frustrated and can serve as a self-esteem boost when they are able to remember the words and the tunes. Music can be either a social or solitary activity. Even if all your loved one can do is listen to music, you know that you are providing them with a stimulating, calming activity.