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Here is a dementia Thanksgiving activity
A Game About Thanksgiving Food for Dementia Sufferers, Long-Term Care Residents
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and will be here before you know it.
This game is ideal for folks with Alzheimer's disease, related dementias, other long-term care residents, those attending adult daycare and people with these diseases living at home.
The group leader can be an activity staff member, other long-term care staff member, a volunteer or family member.
This game is easy to do, a lot of fun, can be adapted and modified for other occasions, and can be used with a wide variety of audiences.
The game is loosely based on the classic television show called, What's My Line. This program originally aired in the 1950s and 60s.
Instead of guessing the guests profession, the guest is pretending to be a Thanksgiving dish.
Before starting the activity, set the stage for the group or individual playing. Tell them that each person is going to pretend to be a food served at a Thanksgiving dinner.
It is probably best to discuss foods eaten on Thanksgiving first. If possible, give each participant a list of food eaten during Thanksgiving. The list can be given before the discussion or after depending on the group's cognitive level. Alternately, you could have a whiteboard or a blackboard and write down the foods as they are mentioned.
As the foods are talked about, it is probably a good idea to discuss the characteristics of the food to remind the group members about the foods. You could include this information on your list.
You will also want to have pictures of popular Thanksgiving foods. You could also write a food name on an index card to hand to the participant who is having trouble thinking of a food on his own. Have a number of cards, each with a food written on it. Also have some blank cards for those who have thought of a food on their own. Handing them the card with the food name on it is a good reminder of the food's name should they forget what they chose.
Remember, folks with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias have poor short term memory.
After the discussion, it is time to play the game. Tell the group or individual again that each person is going to have a turn "being" a Thanksgiving food
Give the player a card with a food name written on it or have a short private conversation to decide what the food to be guessed will be
Tell all we are going to ask the contestant about the food he is pretending to be
Here is a sample list of questions.
Alter it as needed
Is the food a vegetable, meat, or dessert?
Is the food served hot or cold?
What color is the food?
You may have to provide a choice of two colors
Is the food hard or soft?
Is the food sweet, sour, etc?
Do you eat the food with a fork or spoon?
After each question is asked and answered, ask if someone wants to guess what the food is.
Give each person in the group a turn to pretend to be a food.
During the activity, make sure you or the group leader is excited and animated. Make it sound like you are really on a game show.
You could give out prizes or hugs to those who guess correctly.
This game is a perfect lead into other discussions about Thanksgiving.
You can reminisce about past Thanksgivings. You can talk about why you are thankful for each person there, or what each participant is thankful for. Planning a Thanksgiving dinner might also be fun. Also sharing favorite Thanksgiving recipes is sure to be enjoyable.
When you are finished, thank everyone for coming. Tell them how much you enjoyed being with them