Don’t Forget Activities for Those in Memory Care

Keep the mind interested

Helping to keep people who live with Dementia and Alzheimer’s active and interested in things to do can be challenging. It is compounded when those seniors reside in assisted living communities. How do you keep many minds focused enough to enjoy activities? Minds that are being ravaged by diseases that cause them to wander and forget. Find and offer activities that seek to raise the senior’s mood, reduce agitation and encourage social interaction.

Uncluttered space brings peace to a troubled mind

Activity spaces for seniors with dementia must be safe spaces – free of sharp objects and as uncluttered as possible. People with dementia may have difficulty with visual perception. Good lighting, with as little glare as possible, is preferred. Seating and tables should be used that are made with Alzheimer’s resident’s in mind. Ergonomic seating with warm, wood-like and pick-proof finishes will insure residents are seated at the proper work heights and not distracted by disturbing textures.

Activities should trigger learning and promote self-esteem

Look for activities that will encourage learning. If you create or purchase grooved puzzle boards and provide large fun shaped puzzle pieces, seniors can create colorful pictures over and over again. If reading skills have diminished, providing audio books in the resident’s areas of interest can bring as much pleasure as listening to old favorites on the radio. Folding fabric, for example, is a great activity for someone who no longer sews. Make sure patterns are subtle (or there is no pattern at all). Select small and medium pieces of material, in a variety of textures, and place them all in a plastic container. The older adult will enjoy touching and folding the material. The activities in Memory Care in assisted living communities should promote self-esteem and empower the individual. Because dementia inhibits a person’s ability to choose and follow through on activities on their own, activities should be well organized, short and simple.

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