We who are in good health often take the daily activities we perform for granted. But for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, activities can be the defining factor that makes them feel confident, needed and loved. In the February/March issue of Caring Magazine, Dr. Verna Benner Carson shares some insightful ways that activities can benefit those with Alzheimer’s disease. She encourages home health workers and family caregivers to work together using these ideas to benefit their Alzheimer’s patient.
Remember the following when introducing new activities to Alzheimer’s patients:
- Remember that a person with Alzheimer’s cannot change their behavior. You are the one who can and must change.
- Difficult though it may be, you have the ability to enter their reality. They are not able to enter our reality anymore.
- Not everything will work. Don’t give up if some suggestions don’t work for your loved one. Be prepared to be flexible.
- Celebrate the process, not the result. If they are trying, engaging, participating, they are succeeding.
- The goal is to create a routine that they can perform daily. It should be simple, enjoyable, and familiar.
What are some daily activities you can introduce?
- wash face
- brush teeth
- prepare breakfast
- chat about news stories
- browse photo albums and reminisce
- prepare lunch
- read mail
- wash dishes
- crossword puzzle
- listen to music favorites
- take a walk
- prepare dinner
- play cards
- television or movie
- read a book
- maintain birdbath/ feeder
- sit in the shade and read poetry
- reminisce about playing outside as a child
- water plants together
- examine rocks, leaves, flowers; talking about differences in sensation from each one
Hopefully these ideas have inspired you, whether you care as a family member or a health worker. What activities are you going to try to work into the daily routine? Do you have other activity ideas to share with our readers? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.