Seniors with dementia can still enjoy Valentine’s Day. Caregivers simply need to tailor activities to their senior loved one’s needs. Here are five Valentine’s activities suitable for seniors with dementia.
1. Listen to Romantic Music
Listening to music is one of the most stimulating activities for seniors with dementia. Studies show it boosts brain activity, evokes emotions, and helps seniors recall memories. On Valentine’s Day, play romantic music that helps your loved one remember his or her younger days. For instance, your loved one may enjoy the classic tunes of crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. For caregivers who aren’t music buffs, apps like Spotify have romantic playlists perfect for the holiday.
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2. Look at Photo Albums
Photo albums are windows to the past, and many seniors with dementia appreciate looking through old albums, even if they can’t place every face or photo. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to look at wedding albums and pictures. Show your loved one photos of his or her wedding day and the weddings of family members. He or she is sure to appreciate the trip down memory lane.
3. Prepare Valentine’s Day-Themed Foods
Many seniors with dementia are still able to help with food preparation. On Valentine’s Day, let your loved one help with preparing Valentine’s Day foods. For a healthy option, have your loved one mix red fruits for a colorful Valentine’s Day fruit salad or yogurt parfait. For a special treat, have your loved one spread red or pink icing on Valentine’s Day cookies or brownies. If your loved one has grandkids, simple food preparations can be a good bonding activity. Decorating heart-shaped cookies with icing and sprinkles can be fun for the whole family.
4. Throw a Vintage Valentine’s Day Tea Party
For seniors with dementia, connections to the past can evoke memories and stir feelings. If you want to help your loved one celebrate the holiday in style, throw a vintage-style Valentine’s Day tea party. Add some vintage accessories to your loved one’s everyday outfit, like a colorful scarf or brooch. Serve flavored tea with a red tint such as berry tea infusions. Finger food is a tea party staple, which is perfect for seniors who have difficulty using utensils. Focus on finger sandwiches, sliced fruit, and Valentine’s Day pastries. If your loved one responds well to socialization, invite friends and family members to the event. Throwing a tea party a great opportunity to show your loved one how much he or she is loved.
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5. Watch Romantic Movies
Seniors with dementia may not be able to follow the plot of a movie, but they may respond to visual and auditory stimulation of a brightly colored Hollywood romance. For seniors who love classic Hollywood movies, try watching a musical like An American in Paris or The King and I. These films are packed with colorful musical numbers sure to catch your loved one’s attention. For seniors who aren’t fond of musicals, try a more recent Hollywood romance like Love Actually or Something’s Gotta Give.
Managing your loved one’s daily tasks can be challenging, especially when you’re busy planning fun activities for him or her. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Sonoma County, California, home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. For a free in-home consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (707) 843.4368.