Redirection Using Activities

Easy Crafts For Seniors With Dementia

Lynn Wood

May 8, 2020

Recently I was asked to help a caregiver find activities for her loved one. She stated that it sounded so simple and a terrific idea but had no real idea how to get started. Here are a few suggestions that I made to her and where you can begin. First, make some notes on what skills your loved is still able to achieve.  Can he/she brush their teeth, use a folk and knife, are they able to dress themselves etc.? Then consider what household duties that he/she did in the past, take out garbage, home repairs, caring for pets, or doing the laundry. The next thing to consider is regarding the persons hobbies and interests. The answers to these questions will help in determining what activities a person living with dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease would possibly enjoy. Not only is it important to have activities that your loved one can enjoy but can accomplish with success. Below I have listed some ideas that just may get you started on a list of your very own.

Try prompting your loved one to put coins in a jar, washing silverware, or roll yarn into a ball.  These are great for hand eye coordination and offer sensory stimulation. For women you might try initiating folding linen, matching socks, or sorting and folding baby clothes. This activity truly gives a sense of purpose and appeals to homemakers. If you are dealing with a person who is an animal lover, you can work together to feed the birds or fill bird feeders with seeds. Perhaps taking care of a fish tank is something that would be fun for everyone. For men, sorting playing cards, poker chips or sanding wood may be a good place to start. I suggest getting the items for each activity together, put them in baggies and place in a basket or box. Putting together these bags can be a great activity within itself. Activities work best when they are readily available when you need them. 

Keeping our loved ones busy, stimulated and giving them a sense of purpose and accomplishment can go a long way in keeping the balance within the home. For more information, contact the Caregiver Support Program at Mental Health America of the MidSouth at, or participate in Lynn’s Joining the Journey online course each Monday in May at 2:30 p.m. CDT.

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