Summer Activities and Dementia

Now that summer is here family outings are on everyone’s mind and having the entire family together serves to create special memories. What about your grandparent or aging parent who lives in long term care and may be challenged with dementia? They can still be included provided the activities are adjusted a wee bit so that the atmosphere is relaxed and their capabilities are taken into consideration. Provided your loved one can tolerate the change in environment, bringing them home for a few hours can be a refreshing change for everyone.

The biggest tip: Don’t overthink it.

The Alzheimer’s Society offers the following suggestions:

  1. Listen to music
  2. Toss a ball
  3. Colour pictures in colouring books or downloaded from the Internet
  4. Make homemade lemonade
  5. Count trading cards
  6. Clip coupons
  7. Sort poker chips
  8. Read out loud
  9. Rake leaves as fall approaches
  10. String beads
  11. Bake cookies
  12. Take photos and create a collage
  13. Bruch each other’s hair
  14. Plant seeds
  15. Look at family photographs
  16. Wipe off the kitchen table
  17. Weed the flowerbed
  18. Fold laundry or towels
  19. Include well-behaved pets
  20. Cut pictures out of greeting cards or magazines
  21. Play dominoes
  22. Ask your loved one about favourite childhood books or cartoons
  23. Bake homemade bread
  24. Sort objects by shape or colour
  25. Sing old songs
  26. When your loved one shares a memory, ask for more details
  27. Put silverware away
  28. Make a Valentine’s or Christmas card
  29. Play favourite songs and sing along
  30. Ask about their brothers, sisters and other family members
  31. Make a pie
  32. Play with tops or jacks
  33. Make a scrapbook
  34. Take a walk around the yard
  35. Write a poem together
  36. Reminisce about the first day of school, first date, family celebrations
  37. Cook a favourite family recipe together
  38. Look through catalogues
  39. Look at maps and talk about places you’ve each been
  40. Eat a picnic lunch outdoors
  41. Play horseshoes
  42. Dance
  43. Give a manicure
  44. Feed ducks
  45. Put a puzzle together
  46. Arrange flowers
  47. Rub in hand lotion
  48. Blow bubbles
  49. Roll yarn into a ball
  50. Play a musical instrument