One of the common signs of early Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a lack of interest in hobbies and activities, particularly if the person with AD was previously very actively involved.
As a caregiver, it’s vital to help your loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) continue to stay active and involved socially, maintaining personal interests and hobbies as much as possible.
Of course, your expectations should be moderated to a certain degree. For example, expecting those with AD to interact with a very large group of people may be unrealistic. On the other hand, encouraging small group activities can be therapeutic, particularly if the group is made up of other people experiencing the same stage and similar challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.
Tips for Encouraging Activities
- Consider the person’s personal abilities, likes and dislikes
- If there is a musical ability be sure to encourage continued interest (music is good for all stages of AD)
- Be watchful for activities that seem to cause anxiety or irritability
- Be conscientious of loud noises and busy places which people with AD may find distracting
- Encourage hobbies the care recipient has been involved with in the past
- Consider physical limitations & limit activities to the amount of time the care recipient can comfortably endure
- Encourage participation in family activities such as helping with meal preparation
- Schedule activities during the time of day the person with AD has the highest energy
- Encourage enjoyment instead of focusing on achievements
- Build on the person’s skills and talents
- Encourage involvement in everyday activities such as washing dishes
New Activity Ideas
If you’re short on activity ideas for a person with AD to get involved with, research online sources to find examples of various hobbies, games and social activities. You may decide to:
- plan a fun interactive art project
- refinish furniture or some other type of home improvement project
- plant an herb or vegetable garden (you can even plant an indoor garden for those who don’t have yard space)
- attend a theater or orchestra production
- go for a nature walk
- get involved in swimming groups at the local YMCA (great for socialization and a good work out as well), and more.
Planning a weekly card game or bingo group is another great way for a person with AD to challenge the brain and have fun while interacting with others.
To learn more about AD, check out our free courses on AD caregiving and AD prevention & treatment by CLICKING HERE.