Last Updated: July 23, 2018
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can cause seniors to withdraw from activities, family and friends. It’s extremely important to maintain those interests and relationships, however, because it reduces the effects of memory impairment, leading to a better quality of life.
Learn more about how to stay engaged with parents and senior loved ones throughout the disease using these stimulating activities for Alzheimer’s.
How Stimulating Activities Impact People With Alzheimer’s
Keeping senior loved ones active in hobbies and interests that give them pleasure is important after a disease diagnosis.
Stimulating activities can help people with Alzheimer’s:
- Encourage self-expression
- Foster emotional connections with others
- Lessen any anxiety and irritability that Alzheimer’s may bring
- Make people with Alzheimer’s feel more engaged
- Stir memories
As AARP.org describes, it is important to create meaningful activities for your parents and senior loved ones, not just ones that fill time. Consider interests they had in the past, knowing that some activities may need to be modified for practicality and safety. Keep in mind that Alzheimer’s affects behavior and senses in addition to memory. So, the activities that a person once enjoyed may become frustrating or overwhelming now.
Suggested Stimulating Activities for Alzheimer’s
Here are 10 stimulating activities for Alzheimer’s that you can try with your senior loved one:
- Bake or cook simple recipes together.
- Clean around the house. Sweep the patio, wipe the table, fold towels or try other household tasks that help the person feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Do arts and crafts, such as knitting and painting. Keep patterns and tools simple.
- Look at books the person used to enjoy.
- Organize household or office items, particularly if the person used to take pleasure in organizational tasks.
- Read the newspaper.
- Play music or sing songs.
- Tend the garden or visit a botanical garden.
- Watch family videos.
- Work on puzzles.
If your parent or senior loved one resists an activity, take a break. You can try again later, or ask your senior loved one how the activity can be changed to make it more enjoyable for them.
Remember to concentrate on the process of an activity and not the results. What matters is that your loved one enjoyed the time spent on it and felt useful.
Which stimulating activities does your senior loved one with Alzheimer’s enjoy? We’d like to hear from you in the comments below.