Who doesn’t love a walk down memory lane? For someone in memory care, it can be the highlight of their day. Add these fun and stimulating memory care activities to your routine.
Fun and Stimulating Memory Care Activities
If you know someone in memory care, you know how important memory care activities can be. The right activity can provide opportunities for social time and physical and mental stimulation. It’s also a chance to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
However, sometimes it can be challenging to select the right activities. You want to make sure the activity is a good fit for a participant’s skill set, while still giving them a bit of a challenge. You also want to make sure it’s genuinely enjoyable for them. Here are some tips for how to select the right memory care activities for your senior loved one:
- Give them choices whenever possible. Choices provide mental engagement and also show your senior loved one that you care about their wants and needs. Even simple choices, like the color of paper used in an activity, are good opportunities to give your loved one the chance to express themselves.
- Think outside the box. Sometimes an unplanned activity can be even more engaging than a planned one. Be flexible and responsive.
- Consider activities that can be adapted on the fly. For example, a memory-based card game can turn into a simpler game of matching shapes and colors.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, don’t worry. Below, we’ve provided some ideas to get you started. Remember that all of these activities can be adapted to your senior loved one’s skills and tastes. Get creative!
Your senior loved one probably has a lot of memories they want to keep close to their heart. Help them out by making a scrapbook with them. You can assist by writing down their memories and helping them find related images, either in their photo albums or on the internet. If they have existing scrapbooks or photo albums, look through them together, and ask them to share the stories behind the photos and mementos.
Play “I Remember When”
If your loved one enjoys telling stories, give them a chance to do so with this simple memory game. The only rule is that you have to start your story with “I remember when.” Explain the rule, then give them a subject like vacations or pets, and invite them to share their favorite memories. Seniors who don’t enjoy talking can participate by drawing their answers on a piece of paper, or simply listening and enjoying.
If you’re looking for a big visual project that’s easy for seniors in memory care, look no further than a good floor puzzle. Floor puzzles are large, colorful, and usually don’t have that many pieces. They’re a less-frustrating alternative to traditional jigsaw puzzles. They also lend themselves well to group play, which can add some fun social interaction to the mix. Once the puzzle is complete, ask your senior loved one if it reminds them of anything. You might learn something new!
Name That Tune
Ask your senior loved one for a list of their favorite songs, or use the Billboard Top 100 or another service to find a playlist they would have enjoyed when they were younger. Play a little snippet of each song, and see how many they can name. You can also ask if the music reminds them of anything special.
What’s in the Bag?
Find a cloth or plastic bag that can be securely shut and re-opened. Place an object that would be familiar to your senior in the bag, like a pencil or a roll of tape. Give them the bag, and challenge them to identify the object without opening the bag. If coming up with the precise name is frustrating, ask them to tell you what it’s used for, or share anything else they know about it.
Finding fun and stimulating memory care activities can make the time we spend with our senior loved ones all the more rewarding. Try one of these activities with your senior loved one, or create a new one with them in mind.
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