mental exercises

Ninety Seven Activities to Engage Loved Ones Who Have Alzheimer's

Dorian Martin Health Guide May 25, 2010
  • My friend, Pam, has educated herself about the challenges faced by people with dementia ever since her husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.  Her husband (much like my mother) was a very active person prior to the emergence of dementia. And even as the disease worsens, her husband still wants to remain active and engaged, just like my mother did.


    So what activities can you do to engage the loved one? Pam shared this list with me that she picked up in one of her seminars. I wish I had had this list when I was interacting with Mom, so I wanted to make sure to share it with you. These ideas include:

    -    Clip coupons
    -    Bake cookies
    -    Plant seeds
    -    Listen to polka music
    -    Toss a ball
    -    Fold baby clothes
    -    String Cheerios for birds
    -    Wind yarn
    -    Finish famous sayings
    -    Weed the garden
    -    Dust the furniture
    -    Feed the pet
    -    Polish the silverware
    -    Sweep the kitchen floor
    -    Play Uno
    -    Cut out paper dolls
    -    Pop popcorn
    -    Have a high tea
    -    Give a manicure
    -    Finish famous quotes
    -    Make a clay sculpture
    -    Play favorite songs and sing together
    -    Name the Presidents
    -    Trace and cut out shapes
    -    Cut out pictures from magazines
    -    Darn the holes in socks
    -    Polish shoes
    -    Look through recipes
    -    Arrange flowers
    -    Name states and capitols
    -    Take a walk outside
    -    Plant flowers
    -    Sew sewing cards
    -    Dance
    -    Sponge paint
    -    Sand wood blocks
    -    Play a kazoo
    -    Make a cake
    -    Read a short story or poem
    -    Look through a hunting magazine
    -    Try different scented hand lotions
    -    Clean out a pumpkin
    -    Sort playing cards by color
    -    Have a spelling bee
    -    Watch old “I Love Lucy” videos
    -    Decorate sugar cookies
    -    Make cards with decorative stamps
    -    Visit a neighbor
    -    Snap beans
    -    Bake homemade bread
    -    Reminisce about the first kiss
    -    Color a picture of the flag
    -    Remember great inventions
    -    Describe something beautiful
    -    Blow bubbles
    -    Talk about a special vacation
    -    Talk about how the person met his or her spouse
    -    Play Old Maid
    -    Make a family tree poster
    -    Feed the birds
    -    Make a vegetable salad
    -    Talk about a favorite pet
    -    Look at baby pictures
    -    Finish famous sayings
    -    Put together a simple puzzle
    -    Write a letter
    -    Look up names in the yellow pages
    -    Describe a childhood friend
    -    Ball socks
    -    Sing favorite hymns
    -    Make sandwiches
    -    Play balloon volleyball
    -    Have a beauty makeover
    -    Plant a mini-terrarium
    -    Have an ice cream sundae party
    -    Straighten underwear drawers
    -    Roll pennies
    -    Cut up fruit
    -    Watercolor
    -    Water the houseplants
    -    Look through catalogues
    -    Remember the first day of school or college
    -    Play horseshoes
    -    Make a collage
    -    Wipe off patio furniture
    -    Decorate paper placemats
    -    Make Jell-o
    -    Play trivia games
    -    Try on funny hats
    -    Visit the mall
    -    Play bean bag toss
    -    Make cream cheese mints
    -    Visit with a child
    -    Say a prayer together
    -    Plan menus
    -    Tell a joke
    -    Talk about family photos
    These 97 activities are great ways to keep a loved one active. What other activities have you discovered?

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