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Activities for People with Alzheimer's

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Memory Programs
submitted by Alan of Memory Programs on November 13, 2010

Size of Group: 1-20+

Equipment: DVD Remote Control and DVD Player

Objective: Social interaction over the programs being used, reading in individuals with visual impairments, and a calming effect in Sun downing Periods.

Description: Memory Programs are remote control DVD television activity games that engage individuals with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of Dementia. Staff observations in care facilities are showing less wandering, better behaviors, and a more productive environments for nursing staff. Independent living communities are showing more interest in Memory Programs and asking staff to use them at least once a week. Please see www.MemoryPrograms.com.
 
Sock it To Me
submitted by Dee Mayfield, Certified Dementia Practitioner of Mayfield Health Care Seminars on February 5, 2010

Size of Group: I use this with groups of 5

Equipment: old socks of different colors--the bigger the better. Inside each sock is hidden an item that participants will guess.

Objective: Each person gets a chance to guess what is in each sock.

Description: The game can be played in a variety of different ways. Socks can be open so participants can take items out after they guess -- or to control the guessing, each sock can be tied into a knot after inserting an item to be guessed.

Each person can be given a different sock/item to guess, then you mix them up and give each person a different sock/item to guess.

OR - you can give a sock to the first person and let them make a guess, pass it to the next person and let them make a guess. After the last person guesses, the facilitator/activity professional re-caps the all the guesses - then tells what is in the sock. Celebrate successes.

Items to be placed inside socks can include: wooden clothes pin, 2 crayons, comb, tennis ball, pacifier, small baby cup, plastic eye glasses, measuring spoon 1 T size, wooden cooking spoon, etc.
Remember - Have fun with some of the guesses.
 

Leaf Hunt
submitted by Chris on October 23, 2000

Size: Unlimited

Equipment: Baskets

Objective: To prevent alienation and encourage creativity, exercise, helping others and overall stimulation.

Description: I work in an Alz. Specific facility and the residents are typically lethargic and do not want to stray far from the comfort zone. I decided that they needed a few things...first fresh air, I am a true believer in it. Second, Mild exercise. Finally, sensory stimulation.

I took a group outside armed with baskets and a mission...my wheelchairs were the "spotters" they would find the prettiest colors and shapes. My walkers would pick them up and shape the decorations for the residents who could not participate. ( self esteem ) Since we have mild weather here in atlanta this was great. I have found that if you have a "mission" for the residents, they feel special and needed. THis was a very productive activity. Just make sure that there is no poisonous stuff in there and let them run wild!

 

Table Ball
submitted by Natasha Pokorny of Nesconset Nursing Center on January 31, 2000

Size: 10-20

Equipment: Tables that line up together and a ball (preferably a bright color).

Objective: The objective Table Ball is: improved hand eye coordination, socialization, attention span, following of simple directions.

Description: This activity is recommended for residents with Alzheimer's. Place tables end to end (enough to fit about 10 or more people all the way around). Place the ball (we use a bright red one) in front of one of the residents and tell him/her to roll it to someone else at the table. Encourage each resident to keep the ball moving on the table. It should be natural for them. Alzheimer residents in my facility can play this game for an hour before getting tired. It definitely lessens agitation. Another trick I've found for this activity that lessens the agitation of the residents is that using custom stress balls as the table ball lends an extra tactile element to the game and this added dimension provides the participants further stress relief, which is always welcome.

NOTE: not all Alzheimer residents can play this game depending on what stage of Dementia they have. Place those more capable next to someone who might have difficulty and encourage them to help each other. This increases the socialization. Call out names often to refocus.

 

Shopping Scavenger Hunt
submitted by Debra Ekstrom of Geriactives on June 1, 1999

Group Size: 1-20

Equipment: scissors, sale ads from Sunday newspapers,plastic trays

Objective: I work with participants that have Alzheimer's/dementia. The objective was to create a fun yet learning experience. Most have no idea what things cost these days.

Description: Collect sales ads from several Sunday papers. Pass ads and scissors out to everyone. Also give them a list of items to search for: example-
1. tent
2. baby diapers
3. blue dress

I typed out over 50 items to search for. I had volunteers assisting them if they needed help. If they were unable to cut out the items, a volunteer would do this. The participant would cross off the items on their list as they found them. Items found on the hunt were placed on a plastic tray. A count was taken at the end of the activity and the person with the most items was the winner. They would share their ads with others and ask if anyone had ones they needed.
The interaction was fantastic. Even my low functioning people could participate. It was a fun activity....

Note: I need to add that the higher functioning people can search for the highest or lowest priced items. Also, the cut out ads can be saved for a collage as a later activity.


Please submit other activity ideas for others to use.

 

 

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