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 to Party City for the matching spoons because I like the EXTRA HEAVY WEIGHT ones. There are over 20 colors to choose from! (A package of 48 spoons costs $4.99 but if you want a smaller amount, there is also a package of 24 for $2.69.)
If you buy the less expensive lighter weight spoons, they can break easily and the sharp pieces that can be dangerous. Obviously I chose just the spoons- rather than knives/forks/spoons- for safety reasons. Many people, though, with Alzheimer’s or other dementias can sort regular silverware in the kitchen right from the dishwasher to the drawer. It is an activity that is remembered from the past and a wonderful way to be truly helpful. Everything really depends on the capabilities and stage of each person and it’s up to the caregiver to determine what is safe.
I like these spoons because they are colorful and appealing. Often I have several people work on this task at one time in the Memory Care Unit. ( It’s a great time for socialization as well.) I tell them that I want to have the spoons sorted for our next Ice Cream Social and I need their help. Afterwards, the spoons are mixed up again- ready for another day!
PS- If the participant gets mixed up and the orange spoon goes in the red box or whatever, don’t correct. It’s all about the process and feeling good about being productive. Don’t forget to say, “Thank you so much, you are such a big help!”. It’s that feeling of being useful that you are trying to create.