Sorting Socks: Sensory Alzheimer’s Activity
This sock sorting sensory activity (...say "sort soft socks" five times in a row!) is perfect for the winter months for those with Alzheimer's or other dementias! Typically, a sensory activity focuses on one of the senses and a familiar object. The primary...
Torn Paper Art inspired by Ted Harrison
The colorful serigraphs of Ted Harrison are the inspiration for this project! I love torn paper art because it is simple to do and the end product can be so beautiful... which makes it a perfect medium for someone with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Also,...
Winter Reminisce, Alzheimer’s Activity
A Winter Reminisce is a wonderful dementia/ Alzheimer's activity for this time of year! It can help with depression, improve overall quality of life, boost self esteem and lessen anxiety. Even if a person with Alzheimer's does not remember a recent conversation or...
Best Word Games: Alzheimer’s Group Activity
The Two Best Word Games for a Group Word games are a great "fill-in" activity and can really get an Alzheimer's group engaged, happy and working together. Staff can also play as they are going about their daily routine. I have tried many different games and always...
Spoon Sorting: Alzheimer’s Activity
Sorting colored spoons is a task-oriented Alzheimer's Activity perfect for the later stages when it is important to be able to accomplish a job that is both rewarding and easy to do. I purchased these shoe box sized plastic bins at our local Dollar Store but I went...
Sorting Laminated Cards: Alzheimer’s Activity
These laminated cards are great for someone with Alzheimer’s/
dementia to match and sort! I made them from old calendars.
From The Author
My name is Elizabeth (Beth) and I was the Director of an Adult Daycare as well as the Director of Recreation and Residential Life in an Assisted Living Facility in New York for over seven years. (I’m the one with the dark hair—pictured here with my lifelong friend, Mary!) I chose this career …or perhaps it chose me… after my Dad passed away. He had battled Alzheimer’s for over nine years, and I knew how important the activities that he attended were to him and my Mom. Somehow, the unbearable became bearable when keeping busy and socializing.
It has been my honor and privilege to spend time with the residents/ participants who I have worked with as they have maneuvered through the many challenges of Alzheimer’s or other brain disorders/ forms of dementia. Remarkably, I have been inspired daily by the compassion, creativity, resiliency and humor that they have exhibited in the face of such difficult circumstances.
WHY ACTIVITIES TRULY MATTER:
Plain and simple! Activities are a caregiver’s best friend! They help people with dementia cope with the anxiety, paranoia, and agitation that often accompany the disease. A trip to the store, a game of dominoes or a visit from a friend mean so much as their world becomes smaller and it is more difficult to do the things they used to do.
“FOCUS ON WHAT THEY CAN STILL DO” is my motto.
Art– painting, crafts, music (and even critiquing it!)- can be wonderful ways to soothe and stay engaged. Many people in the later stages are content to be observers rather than participants and that’s fine!
Also, being useful is KEY. “Dad, can you help me?”….fill the bird feeder, sort the mail, sweep up, etc. Be creative. Peeling a sticker off a box is an activity! It is important to be in tune with each person’s abilities, honor his or her preferences and modify activities when necessary.
"ACTIVITIES FOR Dementia patients like a 'life map' can calm ANXIETY, agitation,And promote memories & CONVERSATION."
– DON DeMARCO, ALZHEIMER”S READING ROOM
It is my hope that this website/blog will offer meaningful activities and information to help you and your loved one cope with their cognitive challenges and find joy (often unexpected!) in this difficult journey. (And if you work in an Assisted Living, Adult Daycare, or Skilled Nursing Facility, I hope that I can save you time and show you some fun, creative and new things to do with your residents or participants!)