This year, make the holidays special by doing things together with your loved one with dementia. This list of 12 holiday activities for Alzheimer's or other form of dementia will give you many ideas!
12 Days of Holiday Activities for Alzheimer's
- Enjoy looking at the decorations of the season. This may be going to a mall to see a decorated tree or driving to look at lights on houses.
- Reading out loud 'Twas the night before Christmas or the 12 Days of Christmas. For those who are religious, you might read the Christmas story from the Bible or celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah.
- Do one of these Christmas tree crafts or string green, red, and/or white peppermint life savers and hang as garland.
- Roll sugar cookie dough balls and then roll in a bowl of colored sugar. Bake and eat!
- Listen to favorite songs or hymns. Music can elicit a response from even those in the late stages of dementia.
- Have the person put bows onto presents that you wrap, even if they are just empty boxes wrapped as decor to go under the tree.
- Enjoy the different tastes of the holidays - peppermint, cinammon, egg nog, and ginger. Make an easy Santa Brownie Treat.
- Put jingle bells into an organza bag, along with any other small holdiay decorations, like bits of ribbon, small gift wrap bows, small pine cones. Set out the bag as a decoration and/or shake to hear the ringing sound.
- Play a simple game that young and old can enjoy together, like a bean bag toss into a Christmas tree stand. Or try these simple MindStart games or Finishing the Lyrics of classic songs.
- Look at photos from holidays past. Don't focus on people in the pictures, that the person might not remember, but rather items in the pictures - for example, a Christmas tree, a sled, snow, etc. You may start a memory album with some of these pictures.
- Watch all or part of a holiday classic movie, like "It's a Wonderful Life" or "White Christmas".
- Have some hot chocolate with marshmallows with a blanket thrown over your laps and just enjoy the moment of being together.
We have put
together a free set of Holiday Reminiscing Sheets that are perfect for
sparking memories and conversation with the person with dementia. Access
the set by clicking below!