Maintaining a connection with a parent is important at any age. Alzheimer’s may make it harder, but it’s not impossible. Use these creative ways to engage with your mom or dad.
Make a batch of cookies. Get started and watch for signs that your parent wants to join in. You can assign tasks you know your mom or dad can manage. Stirring the dough, gathering ingredients, or scooping the dough onto trays are possibilities.
As an added benefit, many people with Alzheimer’s develop a strong sweet tooth. When the cookies have baked and cooled enough, you can sit down for a snack of cookies and tea, milk, or another favorite beverage. You’ll love your mom or dad’s reaction to the sweet treat.
Put on a Broadway Musical
Sing loud and long. Put on an original cast recording to a musical or put one on the TV. Your mom or dad may not sing along, but you’ll capture your parent’s attention. If you’re lucky, you may even see some attempts at dance moves.
Scan Old Photos Onto the Computer
Set up a cloud service like Google Photos and scan old photos to save online. Have your mom or dad sit nearby while you scan and edit the images. It’s bound to get your parent talking, which allows you to add notes about the people and places as you go. When you’re done, you can share the album with others in your family.
Set Up a Fish Tank
You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but the rewards will be endless. Watching fish swim around is soothing. It provides visual stimulation for your mom or dad, but it’s not going to require the same level of attention a dog or cat needs.
Look online for free fish tanks. Purchase the gravel, plants, a tank heater, and décor. Set that up and let the water come to room temperature. Pick out fish that are easy to care for and add them to the tank. A betta with a mystery snail is a good start. Neon tetras are small and colorful and don’t make too much mess.
Visit a Botanical Garden
People with Alzheimer’s often react strongly to colors and smells. A garden provides the perfect outlet to mesmerize with its floral scents and a rainbow of colors. Visit a local botanical garden. You get exercise as you walk, and the colors, shapes, and smells are bound to delight your parents.
As a family caregiver, don’t underestimate the benefits of taking breaks. Hire a home care aide to help out while you take a break. Call a home care agency to discuss caregiver prices and the full list of services available in your area.