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Activites for Stage 6
We moved my Mom into AL the end of Sept...it went much better than we expected! She does cry a lot still...she says she just doesn't have anything to do. She can't really participate in BINGO, cards, puzzles etc that are activities at the House....
Does anyone have any suggestions for activities that she could do to make the time go by...we have tried coloring but she can't do that now either....thanks!! Any suggestions would be great.
Hasbro makes some automated pets (dogs, cats) that interact with people. Every AD patient who has one loves them. My wife has the dog and she will hold it in her lap for hours petting it and playing with it. They are available on Amazon for $100 or so.
The dogs bark, pant, turn their heads to look at you, and bat their eyes with their long lashes. Petting them on the back results in a heartbeat sound. Our nurse bought the cat version for her husband. The cats will purr, meow, and roll over on their back and put a paw out like cats do. These are really nice toys. To search on Amazon, type in "Hasbro Joy For All Companion Pets"
Try this doll with the very cheerful expression:
My mom is very much in love with her baby. We call him Wilson.
My mom used to enjoy cooking so I've tried to do a few cooking-related activities with her. We've made a simple banana cream pie and even rolled sushi. She needs a lot of assistance but still has fun doing it, and everything can be done while sitting down.
She also used to sew a lot so I found some felt kit holiday decorations that have premade holes, yarn, and a plastic needle. After we're done, they're good decorations for her room at the care home.
There's also a watercolor painting activity and the PWD simply uses a brush dipped in water. I think they're called Aqua Paints and can be used over and over.
Can you take her out? My mom loves getting out and doing just about anything, especially people-watching. She makes me laugh whenever we go to McDonald's and get her a Happy Meal. She always says it's been a long time (she could've gone the day before, but she would have forgotten). I've learned that as long as she's enjoying "being in the moment", that's what's important. She will forget soon after but as long as she was happy doing the activity, then I'm happy.
We do everything with my mom! She's moving out of 6 and into 7 so it won't last but we will continue to take her everywhere until it's no longer possible.
Things we do:
Community concerts/choirs/plays - tend to be inexpensive to free, often casual enough that if Mom gets an anxious spell we can leave discreetly and not be embarrassed about it.
Local colleges - end of term performances are fun to take Mom to, the bands, orchestras, choirs, and always affordable.
Kids theatre - okay, kids theatre tends to suck unless your a kid, or a person with dementia who loves kids! Mom will spend the whole time watching the children watch the actors and be easily entertained. Plus, kids theatre is usually an hour or less (because kids don't have long attention spans either).
Movies - Mom can't track a 5-minute storyline but for some reason, she's super comfortable in a movie theatre. I think the fact that the screen is so big, and there is really nothing else to focus on is comforting to her even if she has no idea what's going on in the plot.
Opening Minds through Art - this is an international organization, mostly in the states, that has art classes specifically for dementia people. Mom is currently enrolled (this is session #5 for her over the last two years). Google it and if it's offered in your area I highly recommend it for engagement and sense of worth for your dementia person.
Local gardens during the summer.
Our local Alz chapter has teamed up with our local art museum to offer a dementia art appreciation program. I did a blog about it awhile ago and found a bunch of cities throughout the states offer similar programs for care givers and their dementia people.
Hope some of that helps you and your Mom!