Staying Active with Alzheimer’s

Both physical and mental activity and engagement are important aspects of care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. While patients in more advanced stages of the disease may not be able to perform favorite exercises or activities like they used to, finding activities that maintain a sense of self, focusing on the individual’s skills, memories and habits, while minimizing skills that have been compromised by the disease is key.

Because people with Alzheimer’s respond best when kept to a regular routine, activities that are done regularly, preferably at the same time of day, help establish a sense of stability and security. Caregivers should practice setting up the activity and then drawing the person into participating, rather than asking the person outright to participate, as this can be too abrupt and confusing.

The following are some structured activity ideas to help keep individuals with Alzheimer’s active and reduce disturbing behaviors associated with the disease:

Motor Activities:

  • Walking
  • Chair exercises
  • Stretches

Sensory Activities:

  • Listening to music; focus on music the individual enjoys and avoid radio or TV, as too many commercial interruptions can cause confusion
  • Looking at photo albums and reminiscing
  • Listening to books on tape
  • Looking at picture books without words – nature photography, for example
  • Basic art projects

Interactive Activities:

  • Small, calm gatherings with close friends or family
  • Playing cards and board games
  • Visiting a museum or a friend’s house
  • Planting an indoor garden together

Cognitive Activities:

  • Playing simple computer memory games
  • Doing crossword puzzles
  • Playing “I Spy” or “Name that Tune”

The caregivers at Heaven at Home of Denton, TX have a wealth of experience in helping individuals with Alzheimer’s disease remain active and socially and mentally engaged. Contact our team to learn more about our home care services.