Six Activities for Seniors with Low Vision and Alzheimer’s
Finding fun and engaging activities for seniors with low vision can be a challenge. Add in Alzheimer’s, and it may seem overwhelming. Nevertheless, it’s important to make certain each day holds possibilities for purpose, joy, and meaning – decreasing the level of frustration, agitation, as well as other challenging behaviors and emotions in dementia.
The first step is to consider the senior’s past and current interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Then brainstorm approaches to draw on those preferences. We have compiled a few of our favorite activities for seniors with low vision and Alzheimer’s to help you get started:
Come up with a playlist of the older adult's favorite songs or genre of music, and then sing along, dance, keep the beat with a tambourine or simply a sealed container of dried rice or beans. Reminisce about the memories the songs raise.
Read aloud, choosing stories or articles that are simple to follow and on topics which are interesting for the older adult. For instance, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite players and teams, and then discussing highlights from the past as well.
Get up and moving for improved circulation and muscle tone, as well as to help promote daytime wakefulness and improved nighttime sleeping. If weather allows, exercising outdoors is a wonderful option to add in vitamin D and fresh air. Try walks in nature, pointing out the particular trees, birds, and flowers that you pass along the way.
Try out a variety of tactile art mediums which can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as sculpting sand or clay. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing buttons, shells, dried pasta, etc. into a pattern or shape.
Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the home. Food preparation offers a variety of options, such as washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for a cake. Or ask your loved one to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
Give pet therapy a try. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted dog or cat for the senior to hold or pet. Even though this may seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending some time with an animal can be significant.