12 Tips on Activities for People with Alzheimer’s Disease
It can be extremely difficult to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, much less to find ways to engage them physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, we can and should continue to connect with them even though their condition may make it hard. Read these tips on how to improve the quality of your loved one’s life through intentional and stimulating activities.
Tips for Your Loved One
Plan Their Favorites – An Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean you lose your interests. Engage your loved ones with the activities they love and adapt the hobbies to their skills and abilities as needed.
Pay Attention to Their Response Now – Be aware of when your loved one is happy, engaged, stressed, or irritable. Sometimes the activities they previously enjoyed do not work for them now. For example, the complex card games you used to play as a family may be too many steps; try creating or playing an abbreviated version.
Consider Their Physical Abilities – Alzheimer’s disease can affect your loved one’s physical abilities such as vision, balance, or hearing. You may have to adapt or even stop doing some regular activities if they cannot safely perform them.
Encourage Involvement in Daily Life – It’s important for everyone to have a purpose each day. Involving your loved one in everyday tasks like folding laundry or setting the table can provide a sense of accomplishment and value.
Recognize the Time of Day – The time of the day can greatly affect behavior (especially later in the day). As a result, you may have better luck engaging your loved ones with activities earlier in the day.
Change as the Disease Does – As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, your loved one’s abilities and symptoms will as well. You need to adjust the activities depending on their capabilities now rather than what they were able to do in the past.
Tips for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
Focus on Enjoyment, not Achievement – The goal of activities with your loved one with Alzheimer’s should be time well spent together, not the projects completed. The process of doing the task is more important than the outcome.
Start Activities with Them – Most people with Alzheimer’s disease have the desire to do activities, but they may need help planning the task. Provide your loved one with organization and help them begin the task if needed.
Provide Simple Instructions – Break down activities into easy-to-follow steps. Focus on one task at a time as too many directions at once can be too much.
Don’t Worry about Correct – If the goal of an activity is to engage your loved one, it is less important that they do an activity correctly. As long as they’re not endangering themselves, let them do the task in a way that works for them.
Stay Flexible – Don’t be 100% committed to an activity if your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease isn’t enjoying it. You can try it again later or you may need to adapt it to work for them.
Ask for Help – It’s a lot of work to plan activities for those ones with Alzheimer’s disease. There are many resources available to help you care for your loved ones.
Let CareAparent care for your loved one.
It’s stressful providing basic care for people with Alzheimer’s disease, much less planning engaging and stimulating activities for them. CareAparent is here to partner with you to provide additional care and support when needed. We are certified by Medicare and accredited by The Joint Commission to help seniors improve their quality of life through in-home care.
To learn more about how we can help you and your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, read about our mission, vision, and values or call 651.702.HOME (4663).
Resources for Caring for People with Alzheimer’s Disease:
How to Provide Meaningful Activities for Those with Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (Alzheimer’s Association)
Activities for People with Alzheimer’s Disease (AARP)