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Entertaining Alzheimer's Patients: Activities for People in the Early-Middle Stages of the Disease

February 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 150

Entertainment is essential for the well being of people with Alzheimer's. Generally speaking, when planning entertainment for people with dementia there's "play," then there's "PLAY!" The former includes pursuits that are relatively passive - things the person could do pretty much on their own, like folding laundry, sorting silverware or doing other rote activities. And those certainly have value. People with dementia can really enjoy such activities.

But what I'm talking about here is how you, the caregiver, interact with someone who has Alzheimer's - play with the person - who is now functioning more like an infant, toddler, or young child than like an adult. I'm talking about how you actively engage with them the same way a parent does with their young children.

Of course, when choosing entertainment it's important to select things loved ones enjoy and are capable of doing at their stage of the disease. If they are generally functioning at the level of a toddler, for example, try activities or playing with them like you'd play with a real toddler.

Activities for People in the Early Stage of Alzheimer's

At this stage you can often share in whatever fun activities the person enjoyed before developing Alzheimer's. Some games may need to be adjusted, however, to accommodate your loved one's diminishing mental capacity. For example, you may need to play a child's card game instead of bridge; checkers instead of chess. Or, if the person previously enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, you may need to find ones with fewer and larger pieces.

Activities for Persons with Mid-Stage Alzheimer's

At this stage, people with Alzheimer's may have more or less the mental and social skills of a toddler. While it's excellent to do the standbys - things like looking at old pictures or watching movies together, those are still somewhat passive.

With a little thought you can find more active ways to spend time together, such as giving the person toys or other "props" that the two of you play with together. The key words here are "play" and "together."

Many people with Alzheimer's enjoy stuffed animals, doll babies and other "props." If you find some item the person really likes, you can use your imagination, again, to invent simple games to play together with it.

It goes without saying that some people with Alzheimer's cannot be reached by any means, but try experimenting with several of the ideas mentioned here. You may be amazed to find your loved one can suddenly function at a higher level and become happier when involved in these types of activities. And that can bring joy to both of you.

Note: You can find puzzles designed especially for Alzheimer's patients online at Puzzles To Remember. They come in various sizes and number of pieces to accommodate the skills of an early or middle stage patient. Other sources for entertainment can be found online at Best Alzheimer's Products, an online store that features games for those with Alzheimer's.

Please visit to sign up for a free newsletter containing Alzheimer's patient caregiving tips. You'll also find a link to purchase Dr. Marley's latest book, Come Back Early Today, which illustrates fresh approaches to the numerous heartbreaking problems that arise when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's. The book is a Santa Fe Writer's Project Literary Award Finalist.

Resources for puzzles and games for those with Alzheimer's include:

o Puzzles to Remember

o Best Alzheimer's Products

Source: EzineArticles
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