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.
On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties. These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs.