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Alzheimer's and Dementia Activities
Activities for Alzheimer's and Dementia
Dementia activities should focus on enjoyment rather than achievement. A caregiver would want these dementia activities to reduce boredom but not to over stimulate either.
Laughter is always the best medicine. Though the patient may not always understand your humor, they can appreciate a good tease, a little nonsense and some clowning around.
Movement is very important for many dementia patients, as they can become prone to sit for long periods in one place doing seated activities like board games and crosswords. Walks outside or mild exercises, either seated or standing, can help to get the blood moving again and ward off boredom and a sense of isolation if they've been without much group activity.
With Alzheimer's and dementia activities care should be taken to eliminate expected outcomes and focus primarily on the activity itself. Cognitive dysfunction makes remembering game rules, sequences and strategies very difficult, if not impossible in later stages of the diseases. Slower paced activities involving simple repetition can prove most effective. Sometimes it is just a fidgeting type of activity that can best keep these seniors occupied.
Activity blankets or fidget aprons, also called Activity Aprons that a low functioning senior can keep on their lap, that has many activities for their hands like strings to tie or braid, buttons to open and close, etc, are good to keep them occupied for a time and keep the hands and fingers nimble.
Maintain dementia activities within the senior's abilities rather than trying to teach new ones. Introducing the requirement for new skills will add to the patients frustration and the caregiver's as well.
Keeping Busy: A Handbook of Activities for Persons with Dementia
"James Dowling's important goal in 'Keeping Busy' is to provide hands-on information for truly therapeutic activities for persons with dementia. He has succeeded brilliantly and made a substantial contribution to the field. Dowling describes a series of activities designed to reduce problem behaviors and give meaning to life. They do not require expensive gadgets, elaborate preparation, or special training. Here is a sound theory, genuine compassion for impaired people, and a wonderful sense of the joy of life."
--Nancy Mace, author of 'The 36-Hour Day'
Playing cards can be a great activity for those with dementia, on their own or with a small or large group.
Games you can play with cards are:
Other Alzheimer's and dementia activities to try with patients are:
Crafts are also perfect dementia activities. Some craft ideas are:
There is really no end to creative ideas for crafts that can be themed by season or monthly based on occasions each month.
Return from Dementia Activities to the Nursing Home Activites Resource Home Page
Other Dementia activities here.
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