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Enjoying the Tastes of Summer with Those with Alzheimer's

Posted by on 7/15/2014
Gorgeous, bright red and juicy, strawberries abound at the strawberry patch last week. My three daughters and I picked and then returned home to make an easy strawberry dessert recipe that can be easily adapted for people at various stages of dementia. The pictures included here, plus more, can be downloaded in the MindStart Activity Sheet below, if you would like to have visual prompts for the person to see when making this dessert.

Making Strawberry Sauce: Easy Steps for People with Alzheimer's

strawberry snack activity for dementia

  1. Get a container of strawberries from the grocery store or strawberry patch.  If the person with dementia is mobile, he/she may be able to go with to pick. It is okay if they pick some that are not ideal - just weed them out as you go.  Sharing stories about picking, growing, or baking with  strawberries can be shared when looking at the colorful collected berries.
  2. Rinse the strawberries under water in a sieve.
  3. Pick the stems off the berries.  I used the curved end of a potato peeler to do the trick.  Or one could use a huller, meant for this job. Last, a straw can be inserted from the bottom of the strawberry up, to push the stem out (and no sharp tools needed).
  4. Slice the strawberry into pieces.  A child safety knife can be used or butter knife (this step is optional, but is a nice way to make the activity last longer or to provide more 'jobs', if doing this in a group).
  5. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher in a bowl.  This is a good activity for patients at lower levels of dementia.
strawberry food activity for dementia

6. Add a bit of sugar or sugar substitute, as desired, and stir.  This is another step good for those who are lower  functioning.

7. Spoon the strawberry sauce over bowls of ice cream, angel food cake, vanilla wafers, yogurt, etc.  Enjoy!

summer activity for dementia


Click here to download the MindStart Activity Sheet for Making Strawberry Sauce, including easy step by step directions and photos to make the steps more understandable for the person with dementia, and allow more independence.

Looking for some ready-made activities for people with Alzheimer's? Check out our 24 piece Garden puzzle, 12 piece Vegetable puzzle, and other products designed specifically for people with dementia.


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4 Comments

Linda O'Donnell
Date: 7/19/2014
Our clients really enjoy preparing snacks. We've recently worked with them on home made ice cream (strawberry and peach). We offer two baking classes a week and they have made applesauce, pickles and all kinds of cookies and treats. It is easy to entertain a group of folks in different stages of dementia where they can either work at their own level or just enjoy the conversation going on in the cooking room...Always one of their favorite activities.
tryn
Date: 7/20/2014
Yum...I want some strawberries now! Thanks for the lovely, simple description of a great summer dessert. I remember making pesto with a large group. The director of the care community thought of it, and we made containers for family members for a Christmas surprise. Mmm...that fresh basil straight out of our herb garden, a little oil, parmesan cheese, blended all together, and yes, we all had jobs to do. Picking leaves, measuring ingredients, walking by and commenting :) or tasting the final product. Awesome. Thanks again, Tryn Rose Seley / caregiverheart.com
tryn
Date: 7/20/2014
Yum...I want some strawberries now! Thanks for the lovely, simple description of a great summer dessert. I remember making pesto with a large group. The director of the care community thought of it, and we made containers for family members for a Christmas surprise. Mmm...that fresh basil straight out of our herb garden, a little oil, parmesan cheese, blended all together, and yes, we all had jobs to do. Picking leaves, measuring ingredients, walking by and commenting :) or tasting the final product. Awesome. Thanks again, Tryn Rose Seley / caregiverheart.com
Monica from MindStart
Date: 7/21/2014
Thanks Linda and Tryn for sharing your ideas and experiences. Simple cooking and baking offer so many opportunities for activity for those with memory loss.

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