Michigan caregivers might find themselves struggling to come up with meaningful activities for an older adult who has dementia or Alzheimer’s. While some families take advantage of adult day programs to help their loved one stay active, many seniors don’t attend every day. That means families have a few days a week when they need to come up with engaging activities.
Summers can be an especially great time for all the generations of a family to enjoy spending time together.
The dementia care team from Heritage Senior Communities put together a list of life enrichment activities to help Alzheimer’s caregivers create meaningful days.
Meaningful Summer Activities for Adults with Dementia
- Exercise: The health benefits of regular exercise are especially important for people with Alzheimer’s. It can help soothe agitation, while also acting as a stress buster for both the family caregiver and the person with the disease. Commit to enjoying a daily a stroll together this summer. Maybe take your camera along to snap nature photos as you go. If a walk isn’t possible, invest in a few senior-friendly exercise DVDs. Chair Yoga and gentle stretching can help improve strength, flexibility and balance.
- Music Therapy: The healing harmonies of music have well documented benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s. In addition to boosting mood and lifting the spirits, it can even help people with memory loss access memories. It can be as simple as creating a playlist of your senior loved one’s favorite “oldies” and enjoying them together.
- Back to Nature: Gardening is another form of life enrichment that has many benefits for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Container gardens and raised beds can make gardening easier and safer. Because people with Alzheimer’s often put things in their mouth, remember to use only plants that aren’t toxic if ingested. Check this list of toxic plants to review which ones you should avoid. Having a garden to plant and maintain will provide productive and meaningful activity almost every day.
- Bird Watching: If your loved one is able, consider taking up bird watching as a hobby your family can enjoy together. Take pictures of birds you see around you and look them up online to learn more. You might even consider starting your own bird book with photos and information you learn about each one.
- Creative Projects: Arts and crafts projects give everyone in the family a chance to participate. You can tailor projects to the age and ability level of family members. It might be a creating a simple watercolor painting or assembling a photo album or scrapbooks. Most craft stores also have kits you can purchase with everything you need for a project included.
Whatever activity you choose, keep in mind that familiar, simple ones that don’t require abstract though are usually best for adults with Alzheimer’s. They are easier for your loved one to complete and require less planning and work on your end.
Dementia Care at Heritage Senior Communities in Michigan
The Terrace at Heritage Senior Communities provides specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s. From a thoughtfully designed environment to dedicated life enrichment activities, we invite you to stop by for a tour to learn how we create successful days for people with dementia!