5 Thanksgiving Activities for Seniors with Dementia

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5 Thanksgiving Activities for Aging Adults with Dementia

By Mary-Frances Walsh, 9:00 am on

Thanksgiving Day festivities can be overwhelming for seniors with dementia. Any alterations to their daily routine can leave them disoriented and confused. To make their holidays as enjoyable as possible, it’s important to provide them with fun activities. Here are five Thanksgiving Day activities that are appropriate for seniors with dementia. 

1. Look Through Photo Albums

Visual aids are an effective way to stimulate old memories, and they give seniors the opportunity to reminisce about their past. Showing your loved one photo albums filled with friends and family members may help him or her reconnect with happier days. Photo albums can also be a great conversation starter. Family members who aren’t well versed in speaking to people with dementia may find their circular conversational style difficult to grasp. Photo albums provide families with an easy way to connect. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Sonoma County, California, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

2. Set the Table

Depending on his or her level of dexterity, your loved one may be able to help with the Thanksgiving Day preparations. While your loved one may not be willing or able to baste the turkey or whip the mashed potatoes, he or she can still pitch in with the pre-feast activities. Setting the table can be a fun thing for seniors to do with their grandchildren. They can fold the napkins, lay out the silverware, and make sure the table setting looks festive.

Dementia is one of the many health conditions that could make it difficult for your loved one to manage daily activities. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Sonoma County, CA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

3. Sing Favorite Songs

Singing is a wonderful activity for seniors with dementia, especially around the holidays, as it provides the opportunity to vocalize feelings in a loving and supportive atmosphere. Studies show that the parts of the brain used to recall and enjoy music are among the last to be impacted by dementia. Giving your loved one the chance to sing favorite songs is an excellent way to activate his or her memory and give him or her an emotional release. You can opt for classic holiday songs or choose some old songs from your loved one’s past. 

4. Play Games

Thanksgiving can be a long holiday. The turkey may take hours to cook, and the celebration could extend from the early afternoon until the evening. To keep your loved one occupied, bring along some simple games the whole family can enjoy. Card games like Rummy and Go Fish are relatively easy to play. Purchase large print playing cards if your loved one has limited vision. Other game options include jigsaw puzzles, charades, and checkers. 

5. Watch a Parade

Seniors with dementia often respond well to visual stimulation. Bright colors, interesting shapes, and motion can be invigorating, sparking old memories and helping them create new ones. Thanksgiving Day provides the perfect form of visual entertainment: parades, most specifically the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Seniors are sure to enjoy the brightly colored floats, balloons, and musical numbers. A parade is something the entire family can sit around and enjoy together.

Seniors with dementia can slow cognitive decline and other health conditions by making healthy lifestyle choices. In Sonoma County, CA, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our revolutionary home care plans and how they can help older adults, give us a call at (707) 843.4368 today.