What are some activity or game ideas for Alzheimer's Patient?

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My mom-in-law has Alzheimer's & I need activities for her other than watching TV.
I cannot get her to do any games. She has no patience & the obvious understanding of them. I tried reading her a few passages in the Bible today & all she kept asking me was "When is he coming"..meaning her son (my husband).
She is obsessed with him and our day consists of talking about when he is coming & watching TV. I want to show her more enjoyment but am running out of ideas. She is very stubborn & set in her ways. How can I get her to to do other things in the house besides watching tv? I appreciate any advice.


Answers 1 to 10 of 22
Can she fold laundry, such as small towels? Can she sort coins into stacks? Play simple card games? What about simple children's jigsaw puzzles?

How about looking at family albums together? Can she tell your stories about the older pictures?

Would she be interested in some other kind of reading material? A child's picture book, perhaps?

Can she set the table? Help you roll out cookie dough? Sweep the sidewalk?

There was a time in my husband's dementia when he could not concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. It was wonderful progress when he could follow the plot of a television show. We found that videos, without the continuous interuption of commercials, were more suitable for him. I don't think watching television or videos is a bad thing, but I hope you can come up with other activities as well.
Thanks Jeanne Gibbs. These are all great ideas. The coins are a great idea.
She does have the same concentration issue as your husband. This is why I have had a difficult time finding activities. She loves her tv. I just thought maybe try some more activities to give her more of "a life". She gets frustrated & then gets real mad & will throw a fit. She used to do my hair (her version of braiding..lol) but now she says she does not know how. It is so sad & I dont want to upset her. The coin idea just might work. She loves her coins...lol We go to the store a lot and walk around & she likes to look at the kids. Thanks for the advice. I will keep ya posted :)
Hi HugsandKisses,

There are two great articles written by AgingCare.com Editor’s that were already posted in our community. We thought this might answer your caregiving question.

Caring for a Parent with Alzheimer's at Home
Page 4: Activities for Someone with Alzheimer's Disease


My Elderly Parent Has Dementia: What Activities Can We Do?

We hope this helps. Please let us know if you need anything else and we look forward to seeing more questions and discussions from you.
Thank you,
Karie H.
The AgingCare.com Team
Here are a couple of things from my experience Caregiving for several clients with Dementia/Alzheimers. I take the front page of the paper and read the headlines. They enjoy interacting about the main stories. A favorite book of one of my very elderly clients is a beautiful coffee table book with nature photographs and inspirational quotes. They're short and easy to read, and we talk about the colors in the pictures. I've also gotten music CDs, printed out the lyrics to the songs of their "era", and we have had a little sing along. This is FUN for all. One of my clients used to work building aircraft. I got a book about the history of the 747, and he LOVED going through that. I love the other suggestion about family photo albums. You might use her obsession with your husband to your advantage. Get a bunch of photos of him, and have her sort them with you. Maybe she can even place them into a scrap book - use photo copies rather than actual photographs. She may enjoy telling you things to write under the photos.
Karieh thanks! I am excited to read these articles!

Ruth1957...I actually laughted out loud when I read the suggestion about putting a book of photos of my hubby....That is GENIOUS! Thanks.
I appreciate all these ideas. Here I am a singer/dancer and posess an artisitc/creative side & I am trying to think up of things to do..lol I should be better at this. I am going to look for some good coffee table books! I bet the Good Will store has tons!
Thanks again. ;)
Ruth1957....I have her looking at photos right now of an album I forgot I made last year. It is mainly with her, my hubby & I.....man I thought I scored but as I am writing you she is already closing the book & saying "I've seen them already".
Man, her attention span is SOOOOOO Short! Ahhh carumba!
Sounds like she's agitated and YES, has a short attention span. The lady I'm caring for now comes and goes with this attention span stuff. I'm sorry that didn't work. I wonder if the "sorting" element would help. Giving her a box of photos and having her go though them. I find that, sometimes, handing my current client something and then appearing to "leave" makes her dig in and look at things. I don't know. I'm really in awe of your desire to help her, though. Stay with it. You'll CRACK THE CODE!!!! Hey if you're going to a Goodwill or something, how about record albums from her younger years?
I recall a man in our support group saying that his wife loved to handle her jewelry. She would just look at it and rearrange it on a tray. Does MIL have some costume jewelry to try this with?
These are great ideas. I am going to try all but I tell ya MIL is just so difficult & stubborn. Sometimes I feel like I could scream. I know it's not her fault but she makes EVERYTHING so hard. I just want to make her happy. Is it ok to just let her watch her tv all day? We do go to the store almost everyother day.....My husband & I take her out with our friends a lot & we also go to the movies at least once a week. I think the sorting ideas will work but her attention spam usually is for 3 minutes & then she puts it down. Oh boy! Maybe I am just trying to hard??? Thanks for your help & taking the time to write back ladies.
p.s. We are still searching for a caregiver 4 days a week (live-in) if you know of anyone in the Streamwood, IL area.
Top Answer
When a person reaches this stage of dementia, they need continual cuing to stay with an activity. So with sorting, you might start her and she may do a few items, but then would stop as she has forgotten what she is doing or is not sure, so quits. So she would need another direction of what to do and how.

Another idea is to involve her in everyday tasks - drying dishes, washing the table, folding the laundry, cutting coupons. Again, she would likely need help to start and to keep going. Also, look to what hobbies or interests she had prior.

If you are interested in activity items designed for persons with dementia, see below.


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