Finding activities to do with seniors who have Alzheimer’s can be tricky. But there’s always a way to find common ground, that both of you can enjoy.
The key is to focus on two things: body and mind.
Now, we know that can sound vague. But the idea is that you want to find activities that can also be helpful to your senior. You want to find practical activities that will keep your senior physically healthy. And entertaining activities that can help keep their memories as stable as possible.
Here are 5 ideas to get you going.
Reminisce in the music
If your senior loves music, this is a great way to appeal to them. Try to find songs they loved to listen to during their childhood or early adult years. Music can have an enormous effect on patients with Alzheimer’s. And it has been known to elicit responses even from patients with more severe diagnoses. Plan a quiet night for the two of you to sit, relax, lay back, and listen to some old music.
Have some fun with memory games
Things like puzzles, matching games, and easy strategy games can be a great way to have fun while also exercising the mind. If you’re someone who loves games, this is perfect common ground that never gets boring. Plus, games are something you can do indoors and outdoors. For a little extra sunshine on your and your senior’s bones, find a nice spot in the park and sit down to play. Just make sure to stay hydrated!
Take a walk down memory lane
Another relaxing, but mindful activity, is going through old photos albums, books, and small memorabilia. Doing this can give you and your senior a chance to bond over shared memories, while also pushing your senior to use their mind. And even if they don’t remember what the items are from, it can still be enjoyable just to look. Give your senior reminders of the people in the photos and the places you’ve been together.
Exercise in nature
Now on to the body…. Taking long (or short) walks in nature is a great bonding activity. It gives both of you a chance to stretch your legs and get your blood pumping. But it also gives you time to just enjoy the beauties of life. You don’t need to go on extensive hikes, but simple walks through nature reserves, or even just your neighborhood is a good way to stay healthy and fit. And maybe find some new things to talk about. Spending time in nature, away from phones and electronics, is also extremely peaceful and a good method to reduce anxiety.
Bond with the animals
Similarly, playing with animals can also really help with stress. If you or your senior is someone who loves animals, then planning a trip to the local petting zoo can be a wonderful way to spend the day. And if you visit repeatedly, you might even make some new furry (or feathered) friends.