Plan Your Next Snow Day With Your Loved One with Dementia or Alzheimer’s with these 10 Fun Winter Activities

untitled-960x744Every Long Term Care unit in the country is required to have an Activity Calendar. This Calendar serves several purposes, but mainly provides a daily guide of opportunities to keep our residents both physically and mentally active. Without the Activity Department to intervene residents would often sit in front of a TV all day.

As more and more of our aging population decides to live at home, or sometimes in their children’s home, family caregivers miss out on these types of resources that Long Term Care Facilities provide. But still, no matter where our loved one decides to live they should be given the opportunity to stay as active as possible.

Meaningful and Engaging Activities

There are five categories that the Activity Department incorporates into every calendar: 1. Physical Activity, 2. Memory Activity, 3. Religious Activity, 4. Cooking Activity, and 5. Musical Activity. Here is a sample calendar of activities that you and your loved one can engage in to make even the snowiest of days inside both fun and meaningful.

Monday

10:00 a.m. – Morning Stretch

  • By starting each day with a morning stretch then a trivia or reminiscing session, we empower our loved ones to keep the body and mind active.
  • This order is important. We can think of stretching as a warm up session for the mind. Our loved ones will begin to focus on following our movements. This time also gives them an opportunity to become acquainted with the other people or noises in the room.

10:45 a.m. – Trivia

11:30 a.m. – What’s for Lunch?

  • Discussing what you will be eating for lunch beforehand is an excellent way to stimulate our loved one’s appetite!

12:00 p.m. – Lunch Break

1:00 p.m. – Arts and Crafts

2:00 p.m. – Hot Chocolate with our Tunes

3:00 p.m. – Relaxation

Tuesday

10:00 a.m.- Chair Yoga

10:45 a.m.- Arm Chair Travel

11:30 a.m.- What’s for Lunch

12:00 p.m.- Lunch Break

1:00 p.m.- Let’s Bake Cookies

  • Baking and cooking activities can be a ton of fun, but they also require the use and practice of motor skills. Choose their favorite cookie or try a new recipe that neither of you has tried!

2:00 p.m.- Religous Reflection

3:00 p.m.- Poetry Reading

Wednesday

10:00 a.m.- Balloon Volley

  • Balloon Volley is a great way to exercise our loved one’s hand and eye coordination.  And so easy to do.  All you need is to blow up a brightly colored balloon and bounce back and forth between you and your loved one.

10:45 a.m.- This Day in History 

11:30 a.m.- What’s for lunch

12:00 p.m. – Lunch Break

1:00 p.m. – Movie Matinee

  • Start popping some popcorn (or puff pop), dim the lights, and don’t forget the drinks!  Curling up with a movie is a great way to spend a cold snow day.  Choose a movie you know you both will enjoy and sit back and enjoy!

3:00 p.m.- Afternoon Stretch

Keep Our Loved Ones Active

For family caregivers and their loved ones living with Dementia, the Winter season can be a particularly challenging time to maintain a consistent and active schedule.  The weather is often unpredictable and, frigid temperatures make getting out of the house next to impossible.

It isn’t always easy coming up with something to do on the spur of the moment. Planning in advance or having activity ideas in mind can be the best way to turn a snow day into a productive day for you and your loved one.

Being a  family caregiver compels us to wear many hats, but when we engage our loved ones in meaningful activities we not only strengthen our relationships with them but we provide our loved ones with a better quality of life.

 

 

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