Things to do with a Person who has Alzheimer’s Disease



When I was caring for my mom, I knew it was important to keep her busy, active and feeling valued. Not just through word but also through deed. Though she was limited in one way, physically she was alright and thankfully she was mobile, but I wanted to find little jobs that she could do while  sitting down. She embraced her jobs and took pride in what I gave her like folding the towels and pillow cases and regardless if they weren’t folded evenly, I appreciated the help and she appreciated being needed.

We’d look at pictures, and movies. I got her a coloring book and even kid puzzles for her to do, which I did the with her, but it usually wasn’t her favorite. With much on my plate and as creative as I can be, I found myself at a loss as to what other “safe” activities that she could do or that I could do with her.

So once when I took her for an assessment appointment, I asked her doctor if there is a list of recommended activities that I could do with her. I was given a list of 101 Things to do with a Person who has Alzheimer’s Disease, that had been complied by the Alzheimer’s Association in 1999. After looking over the list,  I understand these are suggestions and for people at different stages of AD, yet some of the activities I still wouldn’t have wanted my mother to engage in yet. But they do spark activity ideas and room for personal interpretation.

So if you happen to be at a lost for activities or perhaps you may already have a great list and would like to expand upon your own, I have a narrowed down list of recommendations (some are my own, some from the Alzheimer’s Assoc.) to get you started. Here are 60 Things to do with a Person who has Alzheimer’s Disease:

  1. Clip coupons
  2. Count tickets
  3. Walk the dog
  4. Have a calm pet visit
  5. Fold towels
  6. Use the carpet sweeper
  7. Sort poker chips
  8. Look up names in a phone book
  9. Toss a ball
  10. Look at family photographs
  11. Color pictures
  12. Wipe off the table
  13. Make homemade lemonade
  14. Ask a friend/neighbor/church/acquaintance who has a baby to visit
  15. Take a walk
  16. Put silverware away
  17. Make a Valentine/Picture collage
  18. Fold clothes
  19. Cut pictures out of greeting cards
  20. Sort objects such as beads by shape or color
  21. Wash silverware
  22. Bake bread/pie + Stir the ingredients for baking
  23. Say “tell me more” when they start talking
  24. Read a book out loud
  25. Read labels out loud
  26. Take a ride
  27. Make a basket of socks
  28. Reminisce about the first day of school
  29. Sing Christmas (Holiday) songs
  30. Play favorite songs and sing together
  31. Make a fresh fruit salad
  32. Have afternoon tea
  33. Play Pictionary
  34. Make a family tree poster
  35. Cut out paper dolls
  36. Water outside plants
  37. Water house plants
  38. Sing favorite hymns
  39. Dye Easter eggs
  40. String Cheerios
  41. Sweep the patio
  42. Paint a sheet or paper
  43. Finish famous sayings
  44. Identify states
  45. Talk about their youth and see if they remember family members
  46. Dance
  47. Make homemade ice cream
  48. Play horse shoes
  49. Sort playing cards by color
  50. Name the Presidents
  51. Finish Bible quotes
  52. Make Christmas/Holiday cards
  53. Arrange fresh flowers
  54. Fold underwear
  55. Wipe off patio furniture
  56. Give a manicure
  57. Roll yarn into a ball
  58. Dress in a football team color and make decorations
  59. Decorate paper place mats
  60. Ask simple questions

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