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Dementia friendly activities someone would actually enjoy!

Uncategorized Aug 03, 2021

Hello Careblazers!

Let’s talk about activities you can do with your loved one who has dementia. I’ve done videos on this before (see here and here) but today I want to talk about this in a different way and in a way that increases the chances your loved one will actually enjoy the activity. Also, at the end, I’ll share how you can grab my free copy of dementia friendly activities that you can download and use to spark ideas. 

 


If you would rather watch a video on this topic, click here. 


 

Now, we know that whatever you can do to improve your relationship with your loved one is important. One way to do that is to ensure you are engaging in pleasant events together or having your loved one engage in a pleasant event themselves- something that doesn’t involve caregiving. Activiites are a great way to do this. 

 

I want to share with you the idea of coming up with categories of activites. Many people when they try to think of activities just try to come up with things that are obvious, easily available, and safe. That’s great. But by thinking of things in different categories it also allows you to expand your thinking AND be more mindful of activities your loved one may actually enjoy rather than just something to do. 

 

Here’s are some ideas of different categories and then I’ll break down specific examples in each catefory. 

 

Purposeful

Spiritual

Physical

Creative

Military

Hobby specific

 

In the PURPOSEFUL category, you might consider things like:

- Folding towels.

- Sorting or organizing buttons, coupons, magazines, nuts/bolts, movies, etc.

- “Polishing” silverware with a dry cloth.

- Setting the table (feel free to switch to plastic plates).

- Dusting the coffee table/furniture.

- Helping with gardening/watering (consider giving them a spray bottle to water plants).

- Looking through family photos.

- Swiffer/dusting

- Spending time with a pet (brush, feed, walk, etc).

- Visiting with grandkids.

- "Fixing" things around the house using safe tools.

- Assembling/disassembling discarded equipment (e.g. bicycles, computer parts, broken fans, VCRs, etc.)

 

In the SPIRITUAL category, you can consider:

- Reading scripture

- Listening to religious music

- Watching a religious gathering/event on TV Pray

- Spending time in nature

 

In the PHYSICAL category, you can consider: 

- Walking

- Chair yoga (youtube is a great place for videos)/Stretching

- Riding stationary bike

 

In the CREATIVE category, you can consider:

- Drawing, coloring, painting

- Singing

- Dancing

- Watching clouds

- Looking at birds

- Collecting leaves, rocks, or seashells

- Telling jokes

- Doing a craft together, like putting together a model car

- Cooking a new meal together

 

In the MILITARY category, you can consider:

- Sorting/polishing/looking at military award coins

- Going through military pictures and certificates

- Watching military movies on TV

- Listening to military cadence songs (YouTube is great for this)

- Organizing/sorting military hats/t-shirts

- Talking about military experiences (military specialty, basic training, buddies, etc.) 

 

In the hobby related category, you could think of something your loved one really enjoyed doing or learning about in the past and match aspects of that with their ability level now. So if your loved one really enjoyed cooking in the past, you could consider:

- Cooking a new meal together

- Experimenting with new spices

- Going to a grocery store together to pick out ingredients for a meal

- Putting together a cook book together

- Looking through magazines, books, or the internet for foods that look good or interesting

- Talking about your favorite meals

- Talking about the best dinner you  hosted

- Hosting a small dinner gathering

- Getting dressed up and having a fancy dining experience at your house

- Meal planning together for the week

- Doing meal prepping or snack prepping for the week

 

Let your mind be creative! I just want to think of how you can still include that hobby in their life in a way that their ability levels allow. Many people might discount a previous hobby because the person is no longer able to engage in it the way they did in the past. But, if your loved one was a fancy chef and is no longer safe to use the stove, perhaps looking at new food trends, or getting their ideas on different food options, or having them tear lettuce are ways to keep them engaged in a way that works. 

 

I hope this gets your wheels turning. Let me know what category of activity you plan to focus on in the comments below. If you want to grab a copy of my list various dementia friendly activities, just click this link here. It’s free and it will go straight to your inbox. 

 

I’ll be back next week with a new video. In the meantime careblazer, keep up the great work!



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