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Activities at Home: Part 1
ALZConnected Moderator
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 9:17 AM
Joined: 8/17/2011
Posts: 354

Activities at Home: Part 1

Purposeful activity preserves our sense of usefulness and self esteem. Healthy activity provides structure to our days and increases a sense of accomplishment and dignity. It can increase our feelings of connection, togetherness and contentment and decrease our agitation and restlessness. Since we may all be feeling a little cabin fever, now seems like a great time to talk about in-home activities.

  • Anything can be an activity. Transform mundane tasks into engaging activities by adding connection and fun. We heard from a woman who hates to do dishes; when her dishwasher was on the fritz, she turned it into a dance party instead. She played lively 50’s music, handed her mother a dish towel and they did the dishes--with some off-key singing and dance moves thrown in. Even after the dishwasher got fixed, they kept the “dance party.” 

  • Go for personal preferences and strengths. A woman shared that she loves to knit. While she can no longer knit the gorgeous sweaters she used to make, it feels good to keep her hands busy. Her son makes sure she always has plenty of yarn and she knits colorful squares--dish cloths that she gives to neighbors and friends. Another person enjoys playing checkers and Uno. Although his dementia has progressed, his daughter says he still cracks jokes when they play after dinner.

  • Use activities to provide structure and routine. My wife and I have tea and look at the day’s mail every afternoon, one man told us. If the weather’s nice we sit on the porch and wave to neighbors walking their dogs. This is usually followed by a nap until Wheel of Fortune.

  • Be flexible and simplify. Mom has always loved all kinds of puzzles, one woman shared. She did the daily crossword in pen, beat us all at Scrabble and always had a 1000-piece puzzle set up. She still loves puzzles, but if she gets frustrated, I know it’s time for a simpler version--and we bend the Scrabble rules.

  • Focus on enjoyment, not achievement. I had to let go of my ideas about perfectly folded laundry, one woman shared. But my husband loves to help me. So however a towel gets folded is how I put it in the cupboard. They're clean and he’s happy, so who cares?! 

What are your best tips for activities at home?