What Can I Do This Weekend? Fun Activities To Do with an Alzheimer’s Person

I have found that in dealing with Alzheimers/Dementia residents, you need to try to find out what your residents like and their individual needs, read their history, talk to their families, ask them. You will find that different activities will work some days and times and others won’t.

The best thing to remember is that the residents are not babies and should be treated with respect at all times. Have fun with them and keep them busy, look out for Sundowning  (restless behavior towards the late afternoon hours ). Try to keep a consistent program. Enjoy yourself! These are the most rewarding residents that I have found to work with.

by Gina Salazar, Activity Director, http://www.theactivitydirectorsoffice.com/


Here are a few ideas and sample activity days that you might try:

Sorting

Get items that can be sorted by the residents such as buttons (different sizes and colors), poker chips, balls, bottle caps, forks, spoons, rocks, etc. Have residents sort items out, make sure to always have staff by the resident to watch that they don’t eat items.

Play dough/Clay

Give resident some clay or play dough and have them make something,anything. This is good exercise for their hands.

Book Making

Have your residents go through different magazines and look for a specific item. Examples: birds, ladies, babies, cats, dogs, food, cars etc., then have residents cut the items out and make their own “books.”

What’s in the Bag?

Get a bag and fill it with different items such as cotton balls, sandpaper, leaves, newspaper, felt,q-tips, golf ball, sock, clothespin, etc., then have residents take turns and feel whats in the bag, and tell you what the items are.

Stringing

Get Cheerios, fruit loops, popcorn,or honey combs cereal and some string and let your residents string up a chain to put outside for the birds. This activity is fun because they can eat some while they make their chains.

Cooking Class

Make a fruit salad: get different fruits and have residents cut up with plastic knives, add whipped cream or plain yogurt. Yummy!

BBQ

Get a small/large George Forman Grill and buy some hot dogs and have a BBQ!! The George Forman Grill is great to have for your facility because its small,cleans up easy, and the smell of the cooking item on the grill is wonderful for the residents .Other items to grill: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches,Chicken Breasts for Chicken Salad & Quesidellas.

Other stuff to make

Tuna Salad, Smoothies, Ice cream  Sundaes, Pizza Boats, and Nachos.

Pet Therapy

I have found that if you can have animals at your facility, do it!!! They can be a lot of work but they residents really respond to dogs, cats, rabbits, birds,  turtles and most any animals.And the fun part is that you can get your residents to help with their care, feeding, and walking the dogs.

Ball Toss

Get some residents and a ball and have some fun, place residents in a circle and roll ball towards residents, let them kick it or toss it.

Life Skills

Have residents fold clothes, sweep,dust, vacuum and set dining room tables. Alzheimer’s residents love to help. I have found that if you say ” I am so busy, can you help me fold these clothes Mrs. Johnson?” they will love to do it.

Exercise

Take your residents outside for a walk, always take a caregiver or someone else with you and a cell phone if possible.

Music Appreciation

Music soothes the soul,put on some music any kind of music, and just sit back with your residents and listen, some residents may sing along, some will dance, anything goes. Have fun….

Quick List

  • Clip coupons
  • Sort poker chips
  • Count tickets
  • Rake leaves
  • Use the carpet sweeper
  • Read out loud
  • Bake cookies
  • Look up names in the phone book
  • Read the daily paper out loud
  • Ask someone with a child to visit
  • Listen to Polka music
  • Plant seeds indoors or out
  • Look at family photographs
  • Toss a ball
  • Color pictures
  • Make homemade lemonade
  • Wipe off the table
  • Weed the flower bed
  • Make cream cheese mints
  • Have a spelling bee
  • Read from the Reader’s Digest
  • Fold clothes
  • Have a friend visit with a calm pet
  • Cut pictures out of greeting card
  • Wash silverware
  • Bake homemade bread
  • Sort objects by shape or color
  • Sing old songs
  • “Tell me more” when they talk about a memory
  • Put silverware away
  • Make a Valentine collage
  • Play favorite songs and sing
  • Take a ride
  • Make a cherry pie
  • Read aloud from a magazine
  • Play dreidels
  • Make a basket of socks
  • Take a walk
  • Reminisce about 1st day of school
  • String Cheerios to hang outside for birds
  • Make a fresh fruit salad
  • Sweep the patio
  • Color paper shamrocks green
  • Fold towels
  • Have afternoon tea
  • Remember great inventions
  • Play Pictionary
  • Paint a sheet
  • Cut out paper dolls
  • Identify states and capitals
  • Make a family tree poster
  • Color a picture of our flag
  • Cook hot dogs outside
  • Grow magic rocks
  • Water house plants
  • Reminisce about the first kiss
  • Play horse shoes
  • Dance
  • Sing favorite hymns
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Plant bulbs for winter blooming
  • Make Christmas cards
  • Sort playing cards by their color
  • Write a letter to a family member
  • Dress in your favorite football team’s color
  • Pop popcorn
  • Name the presidents
  • Give a manicure
  • Make paper butterflies
  • Plant a tree
  • Make a May basket
  • Make homemade applesauce
  • Finish famous sayings
  • Feed the ducks
  • Mold with play dough
  • Look at pictures in National Geographic
  • Put a puzzle together
  • Sand wood
  • Rub in hand lotion
  • Decorate paper placemats
  • Arrange fresh flowers
  • Remember famous people
  • Straighten out underwear drawer
  • Finish Nursery Rhymes
  • Make peanut butter sandwiches
  • Wipe off patio furniture
  • Cut up used paper for scratch paper
  • Take care of fish tank

 

  • Trace and cut out leaves
  • Ask simple trivia questions
  • Finish Bible quotes
  • Paint with string or Q-Tips
  • Cut out pictures from magazines
  • Read classic short stories
  • Put coins in a jar
  • Sew sewing cards
  • Put bird feed out for the birds
  • Clean out a pumpkin
  • Reminisce about a favorite summer
  • Roll yarn into a ball
  • Make a birthday cake

 

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