At the early stage of Alzheimer’s you can often entertain patients by engaging them in whatever fun activities they enjoyed before developing Alzheimer’s.
Some games may need to be adjusted, however, to accommodate your loved one’s diminishing mental capacity. For example, you may need to play a child’s card game instead of bridge; checkers instead of chess. Or, if the person previously enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, you may need to find ones with fewer and larger pieces (see below for a source of these).
At the mid stage of the disease, people with Alzheimer’s may have more or less the mental and social skills of a toddler. While it’s excellent to do the standbys – things like looking at old pictures or watching movies together, those are somewhat passive.
With a little thought you can find more active ways to spend time together, such as giving your loved one toys or other “props” that the two of you play with together. The key words here are “play” and “together.”
Some people with Alzheimer’s cannot be reached by any means, but try experimenting with the ideas mentioned here.
Note: You can find puzzles designed especially for Alzheimer’s patients at Max Wallack’s website, www.Puzzles to Remember. They come in various sizes and number of pieces to accommodate the skills of early or middle stage patient and they have scenes that are appealing to people with Alzheimer’s.
Do any of you have any other methods for entertaining people with early- to mid-stage Alzheimer’s?