Alzheimer's Patient Activities
It can sometimes be emotionally painful to not be able to spend much time with an Alzheimer’s patient. You are not sure how to spend time with your loved one suffering from the condition. The good news is, there are a number of activities that you can use to interact with an Alzheimer’s patient. These activities are perfect for caregivers who would like to make interaction more interesting and fruitful.
Note: Shared activities with Alzheimer’s patients outlined here are for fun for all parties involved. If the activity is making the elderly stressful or agitated then stop.
Please read the following guidelines before participating in activities:
- Don’t expect the outcome of the activities based on what the elderly used to do but rather on what he/she can currently do.
- Do not treat the elderly like a baby.
- Keep your remarks reassuring and positive.
- Try simple and short activities that do not require many details.
- Make the most of the activities and skills that the elderly recalls.
- Be patient.
- Keep on the lookout for signals that indicate that he/she is tired, uncomfortable, agitated or stressed.
Card games can be entertaining for both the elderly and the caregiver. Most seniors have a list of card games they formerly used to play. Try to select a game that he/she is familiar with like Go Fish, Black Jack etc. You can also opt for board games like dominoes, monopoly, scrabble etc. Bingo is another entertaining game that most seniors thoroughly enjoy. There are also games and events organized at community centers and nursing homes so keep yourself updated on those and encourage the senior to attend.
Alzheimer’s Seasonal Activities
There are a number of seasonal activities that you can do together including:
- Redecorating the house together according to the current season. Help change the curtains, cushion covers or move around the furniture to give it a fresher look. Don’t try to change the home environment too much though, as it could get confusing for them.
- Do flower arrangements together.
- Gardening projects can be very interesting.
- Simply take a walk together in the park or go for a drive. A change in scenery and fresh air would help lift the mood and relieve stress. You can also conduct their daily exercise routine in the park once or twice a week.
It can be very frustrating for the elderly or those suffering from Alzheimer to give up reading because of bad eyesight or loss of ability. However, reading can really help keep the mind active and to offer topics to discuss. You can read aloud a chapter a day from their favorite book. Many caregivers opt for books on tape which could be quite difficult for an Alzheimer’s patient to follow. You can also look for their favorite reading material in large-print editions.
A patient that has cooked for himself/herself for years would greatly enjoy this activity. Make sure that you de-clutter the workspace before you begin and place all the ingredients and tools before getting started. Concentrate on a step at a time and outline the next step yourself. Control the urge to ‘test’ the patient’s memory as it can be frustrating for him/her. Stop the project midway if the elderly gets tired and continue at a later date.
Alzheimer’s patients can lead happy and active lives with in-home care with the help of an affectionate and professional caregiver. There are numerous activities for interacting with the patient that will be enjoyable for both the patient and the caregiver.
Be Dewayne Jenkins