Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide - Activities

In what ways do you help your friend or loved one with Alzheimer's stay active and engaged?

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Activities for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease

What to do all day? Finding activities that the person with Alzheimer's disease can do and is interested in can be a challenge. Building on current skills generally works better than trying to teach something new.

  • Don't expect too much. Simple activities often are best, especially when they use current abilities.
  • Help the person get started on an activity. Break the activity down into small steps and praise the person for each step he or she completes.
  • Watch for signs of agitation or frustration with an activity. Gently help or distract the person to something else.
  • Incorporate activities the person seems to enjoy into your daily routine and try to do them at a similar time each day.
  • Try to include the person with Alzheimer's in the entire activity process. For instance, at mealtimes, encourage the person to help prepare the food, set the table, pull out the chairs, or put away the dishes. This can help maintain functional skills, enhance feelings of personal control, and make good use of time.
  • Take advantage of adult day services, which provide various activities for the person with Alzheimer's, as well as an opportunity for caregivers to gain temporary relief from tasks associated with caregiving. Transportation and meals often are provided.
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