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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dementia Holiday Activities That Lower Stress and Raise the Joy(part 2)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here is a dementia music activity

by Paula Spencer caring.com

Have fun with food

Make cookies.Someone once famous for her Christmas cookies may miss the kitchen activity. She may no longer be able to handle Pfeffernusse or a spritz gun, but together you could mix up a simple slice-and-bake dough (or do it for her in advance) and then let her slice the log and and arrange the cookies on a baking sheet. Or set out colored sugar, sprinkles, and other decorations for decorating a tray of sugar cookies or gingerbread men you've already cut-out. (Kids love this, too.)

Crack nuts. Put the person to work with an old-fashioned nutcracker and a big bowl of walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts. A nice, soothing activity during family gatherings. *

Make a soothing atmosphere.

Stock up on classic holiday movies. Favorites to put in your Netflix queue or pick up cheap at the local superstore: "It's a Wonderful Life," "Miracle on 34th Street," "White Christmas," "Christmas in Connecticut," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," (animated Seuss version), and "A Christmas Story" (that's the 1983 modern classic about the boy who dreams of a Red Ryder BB gun). Invite your relative to choose if decision-making is not yet too fraught.

Put together a photo album of holidays past. This one takes a little time, but pays off in hours of repeated reviewing. Better yet, get a child to jot down the person with dementia's descriptions of each photo -- faces, places, funny things that happened (you may be surprised what's remembered, though also be prepared for nothing to be recalled); insert the notes in the album next to each picture.

Play holiday music throughout the day. Mental grooves are deep for these tunes, which makes them especially soothing. Stick to classics you know the person is familiar with – this is probably not the year to spring Bob Dylan's or Taylor Swift's new Christmas album. (Although you never know!)

Thanks Paula

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