Finding fun and engaging activities for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it may seem overwhelming. Even so, it is extremely important to make sure every day holds opportunities for purpose, joy, and meaning – minimizing the level of agitation, frustration, and other challenging behaviors and emotions in dementia.
First consider the senior’s past and current interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Then think of strategies to draw on those preferences. We’ve put together some ideas for activities for seniors with Alzheimer’s and low vision to help you get started:
- Assemble a playlist of the senior’s favorite songs or genre of music, and then sing along, dance, keep the beat with a tambourine or simply a sealed container of dried rice and beans. Talk about the memories the songs raise.
- Read aloud, choosing articles or stories that are easy to follow and on topics which are interesting to the senior. For example, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite teams and players, and then chatting about highlights from the past as well.
- Get moving for improved muscle tone and circulation, as well as to help promote daytime wakefulness and improved nighttime sleeping. If weather allows, exercising outdoors is a fantastic option to add in vitamin D and fresh air. Try walks in nature, pointing out the individual birds, flowers, and trees that you pass on the way.
- Experiment with a variety of tactile art mediums which can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing buttons, shells, dried pasta, etc. into a shape or pattern.
- Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the home. Food preparation offers a variety of options, such as washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for cookies. Or ask your loved one to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
- Try pet therapy. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted dog or cat for the older adult to pet or hold. While this might seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending time with an animal can be significant.
The trained caregivers at JFS Care are full of creative ideas to engage older adults of any ability level to make everyday life more fulfilling. Contact us online or call us at 213-383-2273 to connect with a trusted provider of in-home care services in Santa Monica and nearby areas.