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5 Thanksgiving Activities That Are Safe and Fun for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

By , 9:00 am on

Holiday activities can be difficult for aging adults with Alzheimer’s, causing them to withdraw from the festive fun. They will likely pass on the activities out of fear of failing or being rejected. It’s important for seniors with this disease to remain happily engaged to reduce feelings of doubt, agitation, anger, and depression. As a family caregiver, you can prevent these negative emotions by suggesting the following safe and engaging activities this Thanksgiving.

1. Making Grateful Trees

Encourage your loved one to tie messages to a plastic tree with yarn and small pieces of paper. He or she can connect with you and others while making these grateful trees. This Thanksgiving activity gives seniors the ability to communicate their true feelings and thoughts with important people in their lives, especially as Alzheimer’s progresses and impacts their communication skills. Coming up with the messages for the tree can foster creativity. 

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. West Hartford Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives.

2. Coloring in Adult Coloring Books

Aging adults who love art can still enjoy expressing themselves with adult coloring books. These books are fun and simple, yet they provide the stimulation the brain needs. Adult coloring books don’t make seniors feel less than capable, which is important because aging adults living with Alzheimer’s disease may develop a need-to-win mentality, especially as their cognitive abilities begin to decrease. Caregivers can find Thanksgiving-themed coloring books at crafting stores and online retailers.

3. Playing Cards

Playing cards is a safe activity that can provide several benefits to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Find a deck of cards this Thanksgiving and invite a few of your loved one’s friends over for a mini-tournament. The games should be about fun instead of competition. Playing cards can enhance reasoning skills, boost self-esteem, strengthen short and long-term memory, and encourage social interaction.

4. Singing Along to Thanksgiving Songs

Choose from a variety of Thanksgiving-themed classics and watch your loved one enjoy reciting the lyrics. To boost your loved one’s mood, ask him or her to choose some favorite holiday songs for the sing-along activity. Singing familiar songs could trigger good memories from the past. Singing is an engaging activity that can reduce stress levels, lower the perception of pain, increase immunity, and alleviate symptoms of depression. 

Stress and depression are just two of the challenges seniors with serious medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s face. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. West Hartford seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.

5. Listening to Holiday Audiobooks

As Alzheimer’s progresses, the joy of reading may decrease. However, this doesn’t mean your loved one needs to give up reading. Find safe and entertaining ways to make the hobby easier and more enjoyable. With Thanksgiving-themed audiobooks, your loved one can listen to some of his or her favorite literary works during the holidays, which could preserve his or her memory and thinking skills. Listening to audiobooks could enhance your loved one’s mood while building brain cells and neural connections.

Holidays can be fun and heartwarming for everyone, including seniors with Alzheimer’s, and those feelings don’t have to be confined to certain times of the year. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading West Hartford home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. Call Home Care Assistance at (860) 372.4500 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.