Exploring Ways To Bring A Bit Of Joy To Those With Alzheimer’s Or Dementia
Note: In this article, there might be some ideas I’ve noted that are not relevant for every person with Alzheimer’s or dementia. After all, memory loss is a very individual thing. So, your mileage may vary on some of these ideas to engage those with dementia depending on how far the symptoms of dementia have advanced in your senior citizen friend.
I do hope, though, that you find at least one idea that’s useful to keep a memory loss patient interested. If so, please leave me a comment below.
And, if you have any additional ideas, I’d love to hear them. This list is ever evolving so bookmark it and come back frequently to see new ideas.
One of the things I love about this website is the correspondence I receive from my readers. They frequently ask me questions which send me scurrying to find information, verify information, and relate the information back to the reader.
That’s how I became interested in activities for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Once I saw the question about how to entertain those with memory loss, I set out to find some unique (I hope) ideas to do just that.
If your Alzheimer’s or dementia friend is fidgety, finding fun activities may be a real chore. But, Twiddle Muffs will change all that! Twiddle Muffs are places for busy busy hands! With all kinds of geehaws to mess with (think buttons, zippers, strings to twiddle, bells, etc), a Twiddle Muff may become the patient’s (or caregiver’s….) best friend.
Friendly Lion Pillow Hand Muff for DementiaTwiddle NATHAN Nathan Weighted Therapeutic Activity/Comfort AidPlay Pillow Buttons and BeadsQ3 Enterprises Twiddle (Fringed) Activity/Comfort AidQ3 Enterprises Twiddle Cat (Cream) Activity/Comfort AidTwiddle Cat MuffTwiddle Pup MuffAlzheimer’s-Dementia Activity Hand Muff Puppy
Buy Some Music Your Senior Friend Will Remember
It is said that ‘music soothes the savage beast’ and, if you consider Alzheimer’s a beast like I do, music can help those afflicted with memory loss relax.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America believes that music helps those with even the most severe dementia symptoms because the brain does not need the thought process to function to identify the music. Rhythm must be built in!
When playing music for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients, consider selecting music to which they’d most likely relate. In other words, play to your audience….literally. Play your memory challenged friends the music of their youth.
Here’s a few musical selections which might just spark some memory for your elderly loved one:
Ultimate Sinatra [4 CD][Centennial Collection]Dino The Essential Dean MartinBenny Goodman: The Complete Concert, Carnegie Hall, 1938Greatest Songs Of The 1940’S [3 CD]Songs for SeniorsStride Piano OldiesThe Wonderful 30s: The Golden Age Of Popular Song20s, 30s, 40s & 50s Music – Greatest Classics, Hits & Love Songs from the Twenties, Thirties, Forties & FiftiesGuy Lombardo Big Band Orchestra – 1930s and 1940s Music
Play A Game Of Musical Bingo
Music Bingo 1 for Seniors-by Elder Group Games(Fun,Engaging Activity for All Senior Citizens)Music Bingo 2 for Seniors-by Elder Group Games(Fun,Engaging Activity for All Senior Citizens)Music Bingo for Seniors
Coloring Books and Crayons
My own elderly Mom, Gertie, didn’t have dementia or Alzheimer’s, but there was some normal memory loss – she was 95 when she died.
Mom and I used to enjoy relaxing after dinner with a few adult coloring books and large crayons. A nice side benefit of this good activity for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients is that the result will be a whole bunch of coloring books filled with your elderly loved one’s own creations.
I love having these artwork pieces as a reminder of our coloring book nights. I even have used some of them as greeting cards for Mom’s grandchildren – quite the keepsake.
I’ve written a few articles about coloring books for adults that you might want to peruse:
And, here’s some of the top seller coloring books for adults, along with large crayons (easier on arthritic hands) from my website:
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular CrayonsMelissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Colored Pencils (Set of 24)Double Edition Adult Coloring Book (Double Size) – 140 Pages with 68 DesignsAdult Coloring Books: A Coloring Book for Adults Featuring Mandalas and Henna Inspired Flowers, Animals, and Paisley PatternsCreatively Calm Studios Adult Coloring Books Set – 3 Coloring Books For Grownups – 120 Unique Animal, Scenery & Mandala Designs. BONUS Weekly Designs For One Full Year!Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns
Sorting Poker Chips Is An Easy Activity For Alzheimer’s or Dementia Patients
Sorting poker chips may seem like a strange activity for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but I’ve seen this activity in action at many senior citizen physical therapy sessions.
Poker chips have the advantage of being larger also so they’re easier for arthritic hands to pick up. To make it even easier for your senior citizen loved one to grab the poker chips, place them on a piece of felt (a small blanket will work also).
Set of 500 Monte Carlo 3-Tone 14 Gram Poker Chips with Aluminum Case by BrybellyBicycle Carousel Poker Set, 200 2-Gram Poker Chips and 2 Decks of Bicycle CardsJP Commerce 500 Piece Big Slick 11.5g Poker Chip
String Beads Or Blocks. String Their Own Birdfood!
Since most of these string bead sets are for infants and the packaging reflects such, before giving these items to an elderly loved one, take the kit out of its original box and put it in a pretty basket so your senior citizen loved one doesn’t see the fact that they’re for children.
Another great activity for those with memory loss is to string cheerios for the birds outside! Make sure to hang up their food donation to the birds where your elderly loved one can see it. Popcorn and cranberries on a string don’t just have to be Christmas Tree decorations either – string them up and put them outside for the cardinals or any other bird in the area. Offer a
field guide to North American birds to your senior citizen loved one so they can find more information about the nature around them.
An Afternoon Tea Party Is a Fun Activity With Alzheimer’s Patients (Or Any Senior Citizen, For That Matter)
Mom and I often held our own little afternoon tea parties in the dining room. Mom loved using the nice tea cups and having fancy little cookies and sandwiches for these impromptu gathering au deax.
Here’s an article I wrote that has some additional information about Afternoon Tea Parties For The Elderly.
Set Of 4 Hummingbird And Azalea Porcelain Mugs Designed By Artist Carolyn Shores WrightPrimula 40-Ounce Glass Teapot with Infuser and Lid with 12 Flowering Teas in a CanisterRoyal Doulton-Royal Albert 100 Years 1940-English Chintz Mug
Arrange Artificial Flowers
Provide plastic vases and loads of artificial flowers and encourage your dementia patient to fill the vases and arrange the flowers.
DII Artificial Silk Craft Flowers for Bouquets, Weddings, Wreaths, & Crafts, Single Tiger Lily Stem – Set of 4 Orange1 X Lot of 144 White Artificial Silk Mini Calla Lily Foam Flower Favor Box Craft Card Scrapbook24 Realistic Wooden Red Roses (RED, 1)Package of Approximately 140 Assorted Rich Fall Colored Silk Maple Leaves for Weddings, Events and DecoratingBlasani Flower Decor Plastic Vase (Set of 5)3 Plastic Cut-Edge Vases, 8Eshock® Artificial Hydrangea / Silk Fake 7 Heads Flower / Bunch Bouquet / Home Hotel Wedding Party Garden Floral Decor (Blue)Eshock Artificial Fake Flower /Artificial Daisy Silk Simulation Bouquet / Home Garden Wedding Party Bridal Bouquet Decor (Blue)Eshock 15 Heads Artificial Fake Flower / Artificial Rose Silk Fake Flower / Home Garden Wedding Party Bridal Bouquet Decor (Orange)
Work An Easy Jigsaw Puzzle
These 36 piece puzzles could just be the perfect family activity for one with dementia. Just 36 pieces means that the frustration level will be kept low.
If your senior friend needs some help, sort out the end pieces first. As another helpful hint, put the puzzle pieces very close to the area where they will eventually belong.
Springbok Puzzles American Made Jigsaw Puzzle (36 Piece)Springbok Signal Point Jigsaw Puzzle (36-Piece)Springbok Symbols of Summer Jigsaw Puzzle (36-Piece)Springbok Birds of a Feather Jigsaw Puzzle (36-Piece )
With a little ingenuity and some patience, I’ll bet you can also identify some good activities for dementia or Alzheimer patients.
Please leave me comments below. Thanks for reading and, don’t forget to bookmark this article. More will be coming soon.