What are Some Good Activities for Alzheimer's?

Dulce Corazon

Good activities for Alzheimer’s disease patients are those that exert therapeutic effects on patients. These activities are often focused on patients' interests and on the remaining activities that they can still perform. Examples of these activities for Alzheimer's include doing jigsaw puzzles, solving math problems, and performing simple tasks like folding clothes, dusting furniture, and arranging flowers. Playing games, coloring in coloring books, watching television, doing exercises, and going on rides are other useful activities that many Alzheimer's patients can still do.

Alzheimer's patients might benefit from doing jigsaw puzzles.
Alzheimer's patients might benefit from doing jigsaw puzzles.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of neurological disorder with symptoms such as loss of memory, impairment of mental abilities, and changes in personality. As the disease progresses, some patients eventually lose control over certain body functions. Therapeutic activities for Alzheimer’s patients are usually aimed to stimulate their mind as well as promote quality of life. These activities can also minimize Alzheimer’s symptoms and further support Alzheimer’s therapy.

Performing simple tasks, such as folding clothes, could benefit Alzheimer's patients.
Performing simple tasks, such as folding clothes, could benefit Alzheimer's patients.

Caregivers of Alzheimer's patients are often encouraged to give them puzzles to work on. Solving puzzles often tops the list of activities for Alzheimer’s as it can make a patient's mind work and help redevelop her cognitive skills. Puzzles with about 100 pieces should pose enough challenge to most Alzheimer’s patients. Patients can also work on simple math problems to work their minds and give them purposeful distractions. Family members or caregivers may print out math problems and ask their patients to answer them.

Playing games such as dice games may also be of interest to most patients. Dice games usually enable them to develop their concentration and improve their mental skills. Watching television, especially game shows, may also be good for these patients, especially if they are encouraged to answer some of the game show questions.

Other good activities for Alzheimer's patients include doing simple tasks like folding clothes, cleaning or dusting furniture, and arranging flowers. Allowing them to perform these simple tasks often help them focus on a specific task at hand. These activities also provide them with a sense of purpose.

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease should also be given coloring books to encourage them to make decisions in choosing colors while helping them become more precise in coloring inside the lines. These coloring activities for Alzheimer's are frequently considered good stress relievers. Simple exercises like arm raising and knee bending are good and healthy activities for Alzheimer's patients as well. They may also be taken for daily afternoon rides to give them a change of scenery and to keep their mind away from the usual distractions.

Reading is a good way to stay mentally active, which is important for managing Alzheimer's disease.
Reading is a good way to stay mentally active, which is important for managing Alzheimer's disease.

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Discussion Comments


Drentel - It got to the point where my mother wanted to go for car rides whenever she wasn't sleeping. She and my father would go for a long ride and return home. Fifteen minutes would pass and she was ready to go again, having forgotten she had recently returned from a ride.

However, I have worked with other Alzheimer's patients. Women seem to be more receptive to working with puzzles and other memory games and crafts activities. The men I worked with did not have the patience for these activities. Watching TV was the most popular activity.

There was one patient who loved to go bowling. He had been an avid bowler most of his life and still enjoyed the activity. The director where I worked tried to discourage his family from letting him go out to bowl because she felt he was more aggressive toward the staff when he returned.

This may have been correct, but you could tell he enjoyed the outings, so his family continued to take him out. One of the toughest things about being an advocate for an Alzheimer's patient is weighing what's good for them against what's good for everyone else, including yourself.


Animandel - What other activities did your mother enjoy as her disease began to progress. I have been told that adults with Alzheimer's resent being asked to complete kindergarten activities. By that, I mean puzzles and coloring.


One of the favorite activities for my parents when my mother developed Alzheimer's disease was taking a car ride. My mother loved to go riding, anywhere. And my father enjoyed doing anything to make her happy.

I have also heard other people say their relatives took a greater interest in car rides once they developed Alzheimer's. The motion seems to calm them.

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