Your loved one doesn’t have to give up on the things they love just because they have Alzheimer’s. In the early stages of dementia, it is common for people to withdraw from activities they once enjoyed, but engaging in fun, meaningful activities not only enriches the lives of those with Alzheimer’s – it also cuts down on behaviors such as wandering. If you’re looking for the right activities for Alzheimer’s patients to take part in, our list can help you out.
How to Choose Activities
- Match your loved one’s abilities: Pick activities that your loved one has always enjoyed, and make modifications where needed to match their current abilities.
- Take note of what works: What activities do your loved one show enthusiasm for? What activities do they dislike, or seem distracted while performing? Make a note of what works and what doesn’t.
- What does your loved one do without prompting? If you notice that your loved one is still in the habit of setting the table before dinner without prompting, you can incorporate that activity as part of their daily routine. Activities that help your loved one feel like a valued part of the household can provide them with a sense of accomplishment, which helps boost their self-esteem and sense of self.
- Be aware of any physical difficulties: Does your loved one tire easily, or have difficulty performing simple movements? Perhaps you’ve noticed that they have difficulty hearing or seeing. You will want to adjust your activities where necessary to accommodate any physical difficulties.
- Focus on enjoyment: Your loved one may find artistic activities frustrating if they used to be a professional artist who can no longer perform said activities with ease. However, someone who has not had a history of creative practice can enjoy taking up painting or playing instruments, as these are new skills for them to explore without pressure.
- What do they love? If your loved one has always enjoyed having a cup of tea while reading the paper, they may still find love to carry out that activity, even if they are unable to completely understand the articles they are reading.
- What time is it? You may find that your loved one is more receptive to certain activities at specific parts of the day. They may prefer a bath in the morning to the evening, for instance.
- Adjust activities accordingly: As the disease progresses, you may need to prepare yourself for the fact that your loved one might want to take a less active role in activities. Repetitive tasks can help to ground your loved one, so be sure to adjust your activities as time goes on.
Carrying Out Activities
If you notice your loved one’s frustration level increasing or attention span decreasing, it is best to either modify or end the activity. The most important thing is to be supportive of, and patient with, your loved one. Make sure that the activity is fulfilling and enjoyable for them, and remember to take note if they seem anxious or stressed while performing an activity. If you’re on the lookout for new activities, try out these brain exercises!