When Alzheimer's disease has grandparents or other family members struggling to get daily tasks done, the search for meaningful ways for family members to spend time together can be difficult. Memory loss and struggles with abstract thinking processes can make it difficult to play games, talk, and enjoy the usual other activities that you have always enjoyed.
Spending time with loved ones is important for people with dementia. They may not be able to remember certain memories, but if an adult has memory loss problems, they are still opportunities to create feelings of happiness. If your senior has Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, it is important to have a list of inter-generational activities that you can all take part in together. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Physical exercise is a good way to spend time with someone that has Alzheimer's disease. Each of these activities can help to calm anxiety, stress and fear, the common difficulties faced by people with dementia. Some ideas that you can enjoy together include:
- Go for a walk in nature in a park or botanical garden - some have even accessible hiking trails, if your favorite has problems with the run long distances and needed a wheelchair.
- Do you have a date available once or twice a week for the practice of yoga or chair yoga in the living room? You could even do light stretching together.
- Go shopping together. Even a leisurely stroll through the mall can be a healthy activity to get the blood moving.
Another option to try out could be music therapy. Music therapy uses healing harmonies with documented therapeutic benefits for people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Even people who have significant problems with memory loss can connect with pleasant memories through music. Music therapy is a fun activity that can be shared among several generations of a family for communal enjoyment. You can create a playlist of music from your senior's generation. If your senior can dance, try adding some catchy music into the mix. The younger generations could have fun learning about and dancing to oldies in the living room.
Gardening and Nature
Gardening and being in nature are additional activities that enrich the lives of seniors with positive benefits for physical and mental health. Taking the time to grow a magnificent garden or enjoy a large botanical display can help you to calm down and lift your spirit. Maintaining a garden will help feel a senior feel more productive and can give them tasks to help them maintain structure. Seniors who are considering gardening to try an elevated garden, container or planter, because they are easier for seniors to deal with in terms of balance and mobility. You could also try out a simple flower or herb garden to add a little extra flavor to the kitchen.
Bird watching is another activity to consider for inter-generational fun times. You can enjoy bird watching in your own backyard or a local park or atrium. Family members can photograph the birds and get their names online, or bring along a book to help identify birds on the fly. You can compile the photos of birds into a memorable scrapbook for your senior or use it to decorate their home. Even if they forget what happened, you can always remind them with the photographs. If you do go bird watching, don't forget to learn to identify ivy and poison oak. If you come into contact with these you could develop a painful skin rash.
Arts and Crafts Projects
Craft projects are a good option because they can be customized for different levels of ability. Arts and crafts projects can engage seniors in a physical and mental way, guaranteeing that they are completely involved in the project. Plus, it’s an activity that can span all age groups and demographics. Crafts and craft projects are also a good option because they can be customized for different levels of ability. Here are some ideas for your family to try:
- acrylic or watercolor
- a family photo album
- make chains or bracelets made of various objects like shells or beads
- Do portraits of one another
- Put plants in mason jars
- Painting pottery
Going to the Movies
This one is great to get your senior out of the house and to spend some time with the younger generations. It can be difficult to select a film that manages to appeal to all age groups, but chances are that you can find something that manages to get people on board. Going to the movies is also usually accompanied by a visit to the mall, so your senior can spend some time walking around and getting to enjoy time spent with family.
If you are worried about the financial and emotional uncertainties of your senior’s retirement, then consider visiting a senior living community at one of our numerous Landmark Senior Living locations! At our senior living communities, we offer programs and services designed to enlighten and engage all residents. If you or someone you love is considering a senior living facility, take the first step today and reach out to our passionate staff at Landmark Senior Living.