Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dementia Games & Activities DIY

  
Many of you know that my mom has dementia.  She is in the later stages now where she is finding it nearly impossible to communicate verbally and doesn't often recognize most of us.  She lives about 8 hours from me so I try to get to see her as often as possible.  Recently I made some activities to try with her so I thought I'd share them with you.  The first one is simple and any cloth bag will do.  I made a lot of things pink because that's her favorite color.  

Just fill with simple items they will recognize by feel.  I did just one item at a time.  Many items she couldn't find the word for so we kind of gestured and pointed so I knew she KNEW what was in the bag, she just couldn't find the word for it. I added things like sunglasses/glasses; comb; hairbrush; toothbrush; balloon; ball - things that again are easily recognizable by feel.
This next one was simple to make from paint sample chips and clothespins.  

All you do is gather TWO chips of each color; one for the card and one to punch a shape and attach to the clothespin. Again, since my mom is in the later stages, I had to only put out TWO color cards and the TWO matching clothespins so it narrowed her choices.  I would pick up a card and ask 'which clothespin goes with this card?' and she could then point to the correct one.  She cannot clip the pin to the card so I did that part.
I put it all in a tin box I had that I decorated in yes, pink.
Fabric matching/sorting is a fun, easy game as well to make and play.  I cut 4-5 pieces of each fabric and put them in a box that I decorated.
To play, you simply lay out all of the pieces and try to group all of one kind in piles.  Again, because my mom's disease is more advanced, I had to just put out TWO different types of fabric and we both worked on gathering them.
Finally, we did some 'flower arranging'.  My mom has always loved flowers so I thought this would be fun for her.  She was "amaaaazed" at all the pretty flowers!

 I covered soup cans with paper and took a bunch of stickers.  I helped her decorate the cans with the stickers.  Then we arranged the flowers in the cans.  This is an activity that the person can do over and over.  Just remove the flowers, put them on the table and make new arrangements.
While all of these activities were great -- I think they are best suited for someone who's disease is not as advanced.  BUT, I still think they are beneficial, even if YOU are doing most of the work because it provides a diversion, stimulation, interaction and I do believe some pleasure for the person.  I'm hoping these ideas help someone and I'll continue to try to come up with more things to help my mom.
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10 comments:

  1. These are fantastic ideas, and I love the colors and themes. Makes it extra appealing for the caregiver and the patient!

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  2. Very nice! I especially like the flower arranging.

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  3. How very thoughtful of you, Lauren, to take these activities to your mom. Your're a wonderful daughter, and thank YOU for sharing these ideas with us. Hope you have a beautiful weekend.

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  4. Aww...this is SO sweet. Such thought and love you put into this! One of the saddest parts of going through this with a loved one is the fact that they don't often realize what you have done for them...but, in that moment of their enjoyment of what you have done, it is SO worth it. God bless you as you deal with this very painful process, and God bless your sweet Mom.

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  5. Lauren, what grand ideas and so beautifully executed! My dad died suddenly just before his Alzheimer's was to the point where he'd have to go into care. I had only just come out of denial about his condition. Wishing you and your mom all the best. I'm sure your wonderful ideas are giving her pleasure and will help many of your readers.

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  6. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  7. Lauren, this is such a thoughtful gesture for your mom. Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm!

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  8. All of these activities are great! My grandmother had dementia and I have learned much about it. The personal company and interaction is so important, even if they can't remember you.

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  9. Lauren, this is really nice of you to think of all these projects for your mother who has dementia. I'm sorry to hear that. This is a lovely picture of her decorating the cans with paper and stickers. One that you will always have to treasure the time spent with her.

    ~Sheri

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  10. What a sweet and heartwarming post, my friend! Your ideas are simply lovely and like Jean said, beautifully executed.

    Hugs to you!

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