Your parent may have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the holidays with their grandchildren.
You can continue many family traditions—even if you have to modify them slightly. Or build new traditions based on your parent’s ability level and interests. Here are a few fun activities kids can do with a grandparent who has Alzheimer’s.
6 Activities for Kids to Enjoy with a Grandparent Who has Alzheimer’s
1. Bake together
With the right supervision, grandparents and grandchildren can still bake cookies, cakes, and pies together. Use ergonomic, brightly colored measuring cups and spoons with the measurements printed in big, bold numbers.
Younger children and their grandparents may need more assistance. You can pre-measure the ingredients and lay them out for your parent and your child to mix and stir together. Older children may be able to help their grandparent with measurements.
Try to use time-tested family recipes that will taste and smell familiar to your loved one.
Have you already collected a lot of holiday photos from the season’s events? Print some of your favorite photos and let young and old alike enjoy a creative scrapbooking session together.
All you need is a blank journal, acid-free scrapbooking paper, scissors, stickers, glue sticks and stamps.
3. Create handmade holiday cards
If the idea of building an entire scrapbook seems like too much for the attention spans of your loved ones, provide supplies so that they can create holiday cards together instead.
Whether they have the energy to create one or 20, they will feel a sense of accomplishment by making art for others to enjoy.
Painting parties are a hot trend this holiday season. Why not host a small painting party of your own, sans the pricey art instructor? Find simple artwork or instructional videos online.
It might be even more fun to provide the canvas, paints, and brushes and then let your loved ones use their imaginations to create their own winter wonderland.
If painting with acrylics is too challenging, consider watercolors or even finger paints—fun for all ages.
5. Sing Christmas carols or Hanukkah songs
Music may alleviate agitation in seniors with Alzheimer’s, calm stress, and even enhance cognitive function. Most older adults with Alzheimer’s will remember the words to songs from their childhood, including well-loved Christmas carols and other seasonal songs.
Sing along to the classics together. If someone can provide musical accompaniment with a piano or guitar, that’s even better.
6. Share stories
Seniors with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty remembering how to complete day-to-day tasks, but their past may be crystal clear.
Help your child come up with a handful of questions about the holidays when their grandparent was growing up. Spend the afternoon sharing stories. If your senior loved one’s verbal skills are limited, you can help them fill in the gaps.
Celebrate the Holidays at Five Star Senior Living
Grandchildren are welcome visitors at Five Star Senior Living any time of year. Your aging loved one could enjoy the holidays in the comfort of one of our memory care communities. Contact us today to learn more about senior living, communities near you, and our available services for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
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