Finding activities for people living in a memory care facility can seem like a daunting task. Some people are unclear on what kind of activities are good for Alzheimer’s and what kind of activities people with the disease can enjoy. Luckily, there are plenty of practical activities someone with Alzheimer’s disease can enjoy.
When looking for something to do, here’s what to keep in mind. Simple and brief activities are most often the most enjoyable and beneficial things to do with people who have Alzheimer’s disease. Playing simple games can greatly help in maintaining motor skills, but what’s most important to keep in mind is that the activities should be focused on the person and not the condition. Try to find activities that are relevant to the individual and suit their backgrounds. Below is a short list of some of the possibilities and maybe they will spark some ideas of your own as well.
A fiddle box is a great tool to exercise someone’s fine motor control while also potentially working their memory if the right items are selected. Fill the box with things relevant to the person’s life, perhaps something related to their former occupation, and allow them to explore the items several times a day.
Music has recently been studied as being a very powerful way to get people with Alzheimer’s engaged. Play popular music from the person’s era to engage their memory and lift their spirits.
Using a medium thickness of rope tie several simple knots and have the person help you untie them. This is a great exercise for motor control as well as building up a little grip strength in the hands.
Rubber Tipped Darts
Rubber tipped darts are a great and safe way to have some fun with a senior living resident. The darts will not hurt anyone or damage the surroundings. This way you can engage in the activity with the person and play together.
This is similar to the fiddle box but is less of an individualized collection of goods. This can be used as a group activity by placing the box in the middle of a small group of memory care patients. By placing a few dozen assorted fabric pieces in the box you have given them a potential conversation starter.
Deck of Cards
Of course, many games can be played with a deck of cards, but they are also good for very simple sorting tasks. Have your loved one or resident sort the deck into suits for an engaging but easy activity.