Tip of the Week 07/29/02

Finding activities that a person with Alzheimer's disease can do and is interested in can be a challenge. Try to incorporate activities into a normal daily routine. Simple activities are the best, especially if you can find activities that use the abilities the person has retained. Activities that are familiar, such as folding clothes, kneading dough or digging in the garden may be comfortable. Help the person to get started on an activity and break the activity down into small steps. Give praise for each step completed.

The important thing to focus on there is the process of doing anything that the patient or the person finds pleasurable, not the product that results. So, for example, if they like to do simple parts of tasks they used to be able to do, like, if they would enjoy stirring a pot of food, where in the past they would have been able to do a complex recipe, that's a good thing. You should praise the person for it and enjoy it. Remember that it is the pleasurable moments that are important.

Source: National Institutes of Health

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