Physical and mental abilities both change as Alzheimer’s advances. That doesn’t mean an older adult has to give up fun activities. You just need to come up with activities that they can manage. These are some of the activities caregivers can use to engage adults whose cognitive function is declining.
In the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s, curiosity is still quite strong. Science experiments are often fascinating and hold interest for hours. Some of the popular options, make Oobleck and let the adult sink fingers into it.
Place several fresh blueberries into a clear plastic cup. Fill that cup with seltzer and set it where everyone can watch the carbonation make the blueberries rise to the top before sinking again. If the person drinks some of the seltzer, that’s a bonus as it will help with hydration.
Some canvas paper, white rice, knee-high nylon stockings, and non-toxic paint are all you need to make splatter paintings. Fill a small bowl or cup with some non-toxic paint. One of each of the primary colors is good. Now, take each stocking and fill the toe end with ½ a cup of the rice. Tie the other end of the stocking.
Dip the stockings into the paint and then drop on the paper. It will create unique splatter designs. With a washable vinyl tablecloth or tarp, clean up is easy, too.
Cut circles out of colored paper. Construction paper will do, but colored printer paper is ideal. Set those aside. Put a few tablespoons of mineral oil in a small plastic cup. Set out a few cotton swabs.
Dip one end of the cotton swab into the oil and use that to draw designs on one of the colored circles. Allow the circle to dry before hanging the suncatcher in a sunny location.
Turn Nature Into Art
Check a craft or art supply store for photosensitive paper. This stuff is very easy to use and creates fun art. Take the square of paper and cover it in things found in nature. Small stones, leaves, flowers, and grass are all ideas of things to use. Place them on the paper and then leave in the sun for a few hours.
The imprint of the objects stays behind leaving a lasting image of those items. The sun is only able to change the color of the paper that was exposed.
If you find yourself overwhelmed when you’re caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re not alone. It’s a very stressful period that’s full of joys and frustrations. Don’t let it get to be too much. Make sure family caregivers take breaks or ask for help when they need it. Call a home care agency to talk about having caregivers available from time to time.