Are you looking forward to the crisp air and leaves of the fall season, but aren’t sure how to celebrate with a loved one with dementia? See our list of fun fall activities for you to do with your parent or senior loved one this season.
Fun Fall Activities for Dementia
There are a variety of fun fall activities that you and your loved one with dementia can enjoy, including:
Early and Middle Stage Dementia Activities
- Bake a seasonal brain-healthy dish together, using seasonal foods such as apples, pumpkin and squash.
- Go on an autumn walk to enjoy the fall leaves and talk about any birds or nature you see, the colors of the leaves changing and the species of trees.
- Make some autumn-themed crafts.
- Rake leaves or do some simple fall clean up in the yard.
- Visit an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch and buy some seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Late Stage Dementia Activities
- Bake a fall-themed dish for your loved one and allow them to smell the scent of fall cooking and eat a tasty, brain healthy meal or treat.
- Collect fall leaves and other nature items and bring them indoors for your loved one to feel, smell and see.
- Make a homemade potpourri out of fall seasonings such as cinnamon and cloves, add to a pan of water and cook on low heat with citrus fruit peelings and apples to fill the room with the scent of fall baking.
Limited Mobility Activities
- Bird watching. Try putting out some bird feeders in the yard to see a nature show from the comfort of your kitchen window or living room.
- Crocheting, knitting or sewing. Many older adults are comforted by — and are excellent at — these activities.
- Organize a fall themed book club. Organizing a book club with a few close friends or relatives is a great way to ensure caregivers and those with dementia, maintain social contact with others. Socializing is considered a vital brain healthy activity and what better way to get together with others than to be involved in a group discussion about an interesting read. Make sure that the get-togethers are kept short and that the person with dementia is kept in the loop of the group dialogue.
- Reading. Reading is a great activity for seniors and it’s been found to improve cognitive function and memory and reduce stress. Read a fall-themed story together.
- Listen to music together. Music has been found to help improve cognition and memory and it’s one of the top brain-healthy activities you can do with your loved one with dementia. Here are some oldies but goodies with a fall theme.
Finding fun fall activities for you and a loved one with dementia just takes a little creativity and imagination.
These activities will help both caregivers and parents or senior loved ones with dementia fight boredom and improve cognitive function, sleep and more.
Try to keep activities short and evaluate your loved one for signs of anxiety — which may be an indication to wrap up the activity.
What other fall activities for a loved one with dementia would you add to this list? We’d like to hear your suggestions in the comments below.