The best activities for Alzheimer’s patients are ones that are mentally engaging without being overwhelming or stressful. If the activities have a calming physical component to them, that’s even better.
Since every person and every memory care patient is different, the activities they respond to will be different as well. Generally, the things a person enjoyed before will be a guide for what they may enjoy now. Scientifically speaking, this is a result of the long-term memories being less affected by memory illnesses than short-term memories, but practically speaking, people just like what they like — regardless of their illness.
- Listen to music – A universally soothing activity, listening to music from their past will help them remember the good times associated with the music. Not sure how music ties into memory? Just think – do you remember how you learned the alphabet?
- Play music – Just because someone is a memory patient doesn’t mean they need to surrender the things they love most. Playing a musical instrument or singing is a great activity for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients to stimulate a part of their memory in a laid-back way.
- Do a puzzle – Our caregivers often recommend putting together jigsaw puzzles as a way to reinforce problem-solving skills.
- Counting coins — If you prefer the Coinstar, you’re missing out on a soothing yet mentally-stimulating activity. Counting and wrapping coins by hand is a great activity for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients.
- Name the presidents – These simple mental calisthenics keep the memory nimble and provide the patient a great opportunity to reminisce.
Are you trying to balance caring for your aging parents, and your growing family, and finding it difficult to navigate this journey on your own?