4 Hobbies Aging Adults with Alzheimer’s Will Enjoy

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Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are often anxious, agitated, and depressed. One way they can rekindle their zest for life is by engaging in fun hobbies. Hobbies can help seniors recall memories, sustain neural connections, and relieve the irritability, nervousness, and confusion associated with Alzheimer’s. Here are four hobbies that may benefit your elderly loved one living with Alzheimer’s. 

1. Gaming

Bingo is highly therapeutic for seniors with Alzheimer’s. In a 2001 study published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 50 participants from six adult day care centers in New York played bingo. The cognitive stimulation provided by the game enhanced the subjects’ concentration, short-term memory, and word retrieval abilities. Staff members noted increased alertness in their center members, a benefit that lasted hours after testing.

Bingo is suitable for seniors in all but the last stages of Alzheimer’s, according to Dr. John Schmid, founder of Best Alzheimer’s Products. Because the game is available in several versions, your loved one isn’t limited to playing the type that uses numbers. For example, your loved one can also play bingo that involves identifying animals and foods. 

For seniors with early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s, Dr. Schmid recommends Qwirkle. Similar to dominoes, this game requires players to match tiles. However, Qwirkle’s pieces are large shapes in bright colors. While playing, your loved one can hone his or her planning, problem-solving, and spatial recognition skills. 

Alzheimer’s organizations also recommend card, word, and board games. Those requiring the manipulation of pieces enhance hand-eye coordination. Word activities increase recall abilities and encourage communication, and board games involving association forge neural connections in the brain. 

If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elderly home care. Carmichael families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

2. Cooking

Seniors with Alzheimer’s can get a variety of benefits from cooking:

  • Cognitive – Cooking stirs up memories, connecting your loved one with the past and reminding him or her of happy times.
  • Emotional – Preparing food boosts self-esteem. Your loved one can gain a sense of independence while enjoying the pride of accomplishment. Cooking is a soothing activity that decreases agitation.
  • Physical – Cooking is unique because it stimulates all five senses. Engaging your loved one’s senses heightens awareness of his or her surroundings and other people. The movements cooking requires maintains functional ability, flexibility, and strength. 

Alzheimer’s can cause a diminished appetite, but cooking spurs the incentive to eat. Under close supervision, your loved one can follow simple recipes, such as those used to make oatmeal, scrambled eggs, yogurt parfaits, salads, and soup. Your loved one can also peel vegetables, shell peas, and grind nuts. Other meal-related activities your loved one can assist with include setting the table and loading the dishwasher. 

A professional caregiver can help your loved one work in the kitchen safely. Families looking for top-rated homecare services providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

3. Scrapbooking

This hobby can help seniors recall memories from the recesses of their minds. Reminiscing helps seniors maintain mental faculties and boosts cognitive health, and recalling pleasant events is relaxing, lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

Creating scrapbooks is an ideal way for seniors to socialize. Many libraries and senior centers provide scrapbooking classes and group gatherings. Crafting calms anxiety by focusing the mind on easy tasks, and cutting, gluing, and captioning pictures can hone dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. 

Scrapbooking is a type of art therapy. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America, art therapy helps seniors manage change, and it also relieves confusion and stress. Working with other people also promotes communication skills.

4. Coloring

Revisiting this childhood pastime may encourage your loved one to recall fun memories. Focusing on staying inside the lines is almost meditative, which relieves agitation. Repetitive strokes are calming, and coloring yields contentment by channeling self-expression. 

If your loved one is hesitant to color, invite the grandkids over. The prospect of sharing the activity with them may persuade your loved one to try this fun hobby. Holding colored pencils, markers, and crayons enhances grip control and motor function, and the act of shading objects increases hand-eye coordination. Upon completing a picture, your loved one can enjoy a sense of accomplishment. 

Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from receiving professional Alzheimer’s care. Carmichael seniors need regular mental stimulation when managing memory-related conditions, and a reliable in-home caregiver who has extensive training in Alzheimer’s care can be a great asset. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (916) 485-4663 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.


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