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Thanksgiving Activity for Dementia

Posted by on 11/16/2016
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I thought it a good time to offer this Thanksgiving activity idea that is great for older adults participating in activity programs, including those with Alzheimer's or other form of dementia. Talking about a holiday that is so highly celebrated and recognized is great for people with dementia, as it can tap into the long-term memories that stay intact longer with the disease. This activity can also be done in the home setting - kids can participate, too!


"Fill the Plate" Thanksgiving Activity for Dementia

Thanksgiving Activity for Alzheimers Dementia

Thanksgiving activity for Alzheimer dementia
Items needed:
  • A dry erase board or big piece of paper to write on
  • A picture of a Thanksgiving meal plate of food (i.e. with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.), taken from the internet or magazine
Tell the group that you planning or helping to plan a Thanksgiving dinner and need their help in choosing the menu! Show them the picture of a Thanksgiving meal plate, then ask - "What food would you put on your Thanksgiving plate?". You may need to periodically remind the person of this main question. Offer prompts, as needed, as suggested below:
  • What turkey meat would you have? - dark or white meat? would you have ham or other meat?
  • What vegetable would you have? - corn, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes?
  • What kind of dressing would you have? - corn bread or white bread? stuffed in the bird or on the outside?
  • What about mashed potatoes? - with gravy or not? how do you prevent lumps in the gravy?
  • What kind of salad would you have? - cranberry or jello?
  • What kind of bread would you have? - dinner rolls, biscuits, or cornbread?
  • What kind of pie would you have? - pumpkin, apple, cherry, pecan? topped with whipped topping or ice cream?
"Fill the Plate" can be a great activity to start conversations and reminisce. You can even extend the activity to talking about traditions, like who hosted Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

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!
holiday activities for dementia care 

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