Choosing Appropriate Alzheimer Activities in Dementia Care
There are many things to consider when choosing the appropriate activity for the person with dementia, such as the stage of dementia, the interests and background of the person, an activity done alone or with others, and more. Also, there are different types of activities that can be successful for the person. Use the guide below to determine what activities and MindStart products might be appropriate.
Choosing Activities by Stages of Dementia or 'Activity Level'
"I love how the MindStart activity products can be used for all levels of dementia. It's great to have products that can be adapted to meet the needs of participants as their cognitive level declines so they can continue to be involved in meaningful activities, with feelings of independence, success, and pride for what they have accomplished."
- Katie, Occupational Therapist
Life History of the Patient
Long-term memories and procedural memories (things that we have done many times over in our life, such as washing a plate) are preserved longer in the Alzheimer's disease process. So it is important to consider the dementia patient's past history when choosing activities, including:
- Former hobbies and interests
- Jobs held in the past
- Roles of the person played, such as a mother, a volunteer, or a church attendee.
However, new activities are often enjoyed by people with dementia, so be open to new possibilities, as well. MindStart products that support life history include This Is My Life memory book, Praise and Glory book, Chat Cards, I Still Enjoy a Good Laugh and all the images on MindStart puzzles.
Types of Activities for Alzheimer Patients
A patient with mild cognitive impairment or beginning early stage Alzheimer's can keep doing the activities of their typical daily routine, with occasional help. However, as the person has difficulty with their everyday tasks, he or she may become more inactive unless the daily care includes the support of caregivers to keep active and engaged. Consider these different types of activities that can be incorporated into the day. Learn more about incorporating activities into the day.
- Cognitive - reading, large piece jigsaw puzzles, word searches , dementia games
- Physical - walking, dancing, simple gardening
- Social - coffee with friends, reminiscing with family or friends
- Creative - painting, adult color books, hands on activities
- Spiritual - familiar hymns and prayers, outdoor walks
- Daily life tasks - setting the table, making lunch, emptying the trash, watering plants
- Personal cares - brushing hair, getting dressed, eating