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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ten Mentally Stimulating Activities for People With Alzheimer's

How can caregivers find activities day after day for people who have Alzheimer's? These ten tips provide activities that offer mental stimulation.

1. PREVIOUS INTERESTS. Research the historical eras of the person's life on the internet to find items that trigger memories and interests. For instance, new hobbies may result from researching vintage items from the 1930's or 40's. At the website you can research people, events, arts, history, culture and more.

2. PERSONAL HISTORY - Relate personal history items to major historical events. Draw a timeline for the personal history. As memories become difficult to remember seeing events on a timeline makes it less confusing.

3. COMPUTER ACTIVITIES. If a person with Alzheimer's is not familiar with computer skills he or she may still enjoy sitting next to you while you visit travel websites, live web cams of interesting locations around the world or other interesting sites.

4. CONTAINER GARDENING PROJECT. Growing flowers, vegetables or herbs in container gardens, indoors or outside, provides the opportunity to check each day for blooms, growth, and change. Shopping at nurseries for seeds, bulbs, or small plants, and caring for them daily as they grow can add interest to the usual schedule.

5. SOCIAL INTERACTION. Alzheimer's Daycare provides a chance to get out of the house and away from the recliner and T.V. It also gives the caregiver some time to spend separately for relief. For early or mid-stage Alzheimer's a senior center may also have groups, crafts, a mid-day senior lunch program, and other chances to participate.

6. FREE MULTIMEDIA FROM THE LIBRARY. Videos, classic films, photos, books on tape, photo history or travel books, and other multimedia are available at the library for free. Someone who has Alzheimer's may still enjoy having an outing to visit the library, look at historical collections, and choose multimedia. A weekly library trip can be one of the week's highlights.

7. LOCAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUMS AND COMMUNITY EVENTS. The local museums that feature local history and nature are always mentally stimulating and can trigger memories. Art museums and galleries offer visuals that people with Alzheimer's can enjoy. Community events such as pancake breakfasts, fundraiser barbecues, art walks, and festivals can be excuses to get out of the house and participate.

8. GENEALOGY AND LIFE STORY TELLING. Local clubs and classes provide historical triggers for memories, genealogy research advice, group interaction, and advice on recording or writing life stories and preserving personal items.

9. DAILY SPECIAL INTEREST WALK. It may be a challenge to persuade someone who is hypnotized by the T.V. to go outside for walking exercise. A drive in the car to visit the local gardens, arboretum, nurseries, stores, malls, or parks can make it a special interest activity.

10. BE ACTIVE INSTEAD OF PASSIVE. Small tasks such as folding the laundry can help someone feel useful and keep busy. Card games or board games can be mostly games of chance that use dice if memory is not good enough for more difficult activity. Crossword puzzles, jig saw puzzles and word or number games are more active than watching T.V. Writing the grocery list and other household tasks can help keep someone actively involved.


Julie said...

Thank you for the valuable information on Alzheimer's - I will be letting our site visitors know about your blog.
Take care,

experienced healthcare professional said...

You have shared some good ideas.
I also have seen good ideas suggested at