Fircrest Suggests Memory Care Activities For Those With Dementia
When loved ones are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, help is needed for them to continue to feel useful and to control loneliness, depression, anger, or agitation. Activities keep neurons firing in the brain, but dementia inhibits choosing and following through on activities on their own. Whether your loved one is living at home, at an assisted living center, Alzheimer’s retirement home, or is involved in an Alzheimer’s day care program, there are activities to boost the quality of life for dementia patients. Begin with activities that the person has enjoyed in the past. Here are some suggestions from the Fircrest activity center:
- Watch for boredom from too simple activities, or frustration if too hard
- Keep it short, simple, with few instructions
- Be patient! Watch your facial expressions or raised eyebrows
- Keep activities routine, organized, and structured
- Limit activities to 45 minutes or less
Brain-stimulating activities for dementia patients such as these improve psychological well-being and encourage social participation:
Creativity : Coloring, painting, arts & crafts, listening to music, playing rhythm instruments, singing songs, hula dancing
Cooking/Kitchen : Wash & peel vegetables, shell peas, break beans, make popcorn; copy recipes onto cards and find pictures, make a grocery list
Daily Activities : Bathing, brushing teeth, getting dressed, eating
Gardening : Plant seeds and bulbs, pull weeds
Housework: Fold towels, sweep, set table, rake leaves
Photo and scrapbooking activities : Look through photo albums, create a scrapbook, look at old greeting cards and letters
Physical activities : Short walks, simple exercises, toss a large ball
Puzzles and Games : Bingo Press (numbers on cards are in numerical order to avoid confusion), object trivia (describe, facts), easy crossword puzzles, word searches with large type, jigsaw puzzles with large pieces, simple card and board games
Reading: Read aloud, look through magazines and books with pictures, read Bible or Bible stories, short story collections
Seasonal Decorating: Help decorate tree, string popcorn, put decorations up and take down
Social : Visit with family & friends, attend adult day care activities, talk to pets
Sorting and Organizing: Sorting & organizing M & M, colorful beads, small hardware items, nail polish/lipstick, buttons, coins, organize pantry.
There are many other activities that dementia patients can do and enjoy, and may be initiated in an Alzheimer’s memory care center or at home, and carried through by a medical professional, family member, or caregiver. Be creative, and your loved one will enjoy life once again!
Music and Memory
Music and Memory is a non profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.
As part of this national organization, Fircrest is one of the few communities that has been trained on how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and related digital audio systems that enable those struggling with Alzheimer's, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.