Alzheimer's from Around June
Many of the ideas on Activity Connection are appropriate for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Below are just a few examples from around the site this month. Be sure to check out all of the pages.
- Father's Day – Print copies of the Father's Day cards and ask people to fold them. Then, ask someone to deliver the cards to all the men.
- Flag Day – Make the "Popsicle Stick Flags" and use them for puzzles.
- Flag Day – Talk about the flag and sing "You're a Grand Old Flag."
- Humor – Share some Father's Day humor.
- Crafts – Make stuffed pillows out of old pajama bottoms. There is no sewing.
- Health & Fitness – Do some exercises using neckties.
- Art – Try doing the simple, but adult, paint-by-numbers and painting pages.
- Who Am I? – See if anyone can guess that it is Popeye.
- One-on-One – Use the sewing kit for reminiscing.
- Don't forget the Bingo Press, where you can print easier versions of regular bingo cards anytime you want.
An area director of Alzheimer's services for a major company recently wrote to tell us that her communities use almost everything on Activity Connection in their Alzheimer's units. Therefore, be sure to...
CHECK OUT ALL OF THE PAGES FOR ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES!
Junk Drawer Detective EZ
These are easier versions of our regular Junk Drawer Detective. In this case, the pictures are not as cluttered, and people are asked to look for a list of items rather than solve a puzzle poem.
Preparations and Tips
- Click on the images and print copies to pass out. (There is a large picture on the first page of the printout and a list of items to find on the second page.) Distribute only the pictures.
- Read one item at a time from the list on the second page of the handout and ask participants to find it in the picture. If you want, ask them to circle the item.
- It is not necessary to find all of the items on the list. Pause and discuss each item if appropriate. Ask such questions as "What is it used for?"
- Ask the group what other items they see in the picture.
- Also, try making up a story about the picture.
Grandpa's Junk Drawer Detective
Show the images on your widescreen TV instead of printing them out. If you haven't done this before, check out this handy guide, which explains the common ways of connecting a computer to a TV or projector. Unfortunately, this is not something everyone can do, and there may be some wires or cables you will need to acquire. If you run into any problems, you may need to have someone at your facility take a look.
Please let us know if your clients enjoy "Junk Drawer EZ" and if it is about the right level of difficulty. Look for more in upcoming months.
What Things Belong in the Same Room?
Does a bath towel belong in the same room as a toaster? Does a coffee pot belong in the same room as an office desk? Recognizing items that belong together exercises memory and helps maintain brain connections.
- Print some category cards on heavy paper and cut them out. There are a total of 24 cards divided into three categories—bathroom items, kitchen items, and office items. The cards are available in two sizes:
If these category cards are helpful, let us know and we will add more in future months.
a short story and discussion by Ted Boretti
Preparations and Tips
- Print a copy of the story with discussion questions for the group leader.
- Print large-print copies of the story and pass them out to participants. Individuals can follow along or even read aloud parts of the story if they want. (Many people with Alzheimer's can still read, especially if the font is very large. Check out this interesting article from The New York Times.)
- If you are reading the story to the group, encourage people to close their eyes and see the story in their minds like a movie.
- Read the story and then use the discussion questions to start a conversation.
- To make the activity even more interactive and sensory, bring in some items related to the story, such as a fishing net, a camera, some small river stones, etc.
- Also, if you want, download this PDF slide presentation to go along with the story. (The leader's copy of the story is marked so you know when to change the slides.) Show it on your widescreen TV. If this slideshow is useful and you would like to see more in the future, let us know.
Famous Fellows Finish Lines and Trivia
by Dawn Hotchkin, ADC, CDP
Since we are celebrating Father's Day this month, see if your group can finish these famous men's names.
Print a copy of the complete list of 30 finish lines and trivia.
At the end of the activity, ask the group to come up with a list of other famous men.
Puzzles & Ponderings
by Cyndi Bellerose
How to Use the Puzzles
- Print copies of the three puzzles.
- Give everyone a pencil or marker.
- Pass the puzzles out one at a time.
- After everyone has had a chance to solve the puzzle, reveal the solution.
- Then, use the discussion questions to start a conversation.
- If you want, enlarge the puzzle and try to solve it as a group. Or, connect your computer to your television and display the puzzles on the big screen.
- Use the puzzles for one-to-one and independent activities.
- Pass out colored pencils or markers so people can color the pictures if they want.
- Bring in items related to the puzzles. For example, bring in some seashells or a beach towel for Puzzle 1, some fishing lures and a fishing pole for Puzzle 2, and some marshmallows for Puzzle 3.
You Can Puzzle Too
by Dawn Hotchkin, ADC, CDP
Many of the puzzles on our regular Puzzles page can be adapted for Alzheimer's. Below are several examples.
- Expose the Secret Word – This puzzle is similar to our regular word elimination puzzles except there are fewer boxes to search, the words are shorter, and the solution is only one word.
- Beach Categories – This puzzle is similar to our regular categories puzzle except there are fewer rows and the instructions ask for only one word for each cell.
- Mixed-Up Vegetables – Unlike our traditional puzzles, the first letter in the group of letters to unscramble is the first letter of the answer.
These large lego blocks (called Mega Bloks) can be used in a variety of ways.
- Sort them by color or size.
- Stack them or make different shapes.
- Build a simple shape and see if the individual can copy it.
- Place a few blocks in a basket and place it on a table for independent activities.
- Use the blocks for intergenerational programs when children visit.