Mrs J. Bird

My dad is 87 and in a nursing home because he has dementia, but he needs stimulation to keep him occupied but not to0 childish to offend him. I have tried magnetix. Have you any other ideas for this age group please?

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Mrs J. Bird
by: Anonymous

I worked many years in a nursing home as a therapeutic recreation therapist. My job was to provide activities to the residents and adjust them accordingly depending on what was wrong with them. Even if a resident was not interested in group activities it was required to provide them with independent activities they could do on their own that interested them. If they were unable to initiate activities on their own 1 to 1 visits where provided daily. Does the nursing home have a recreation department? They should be able to provide activities appropriate for him. It is very important to make them age appropriate. I don't know at what level the dementia has effected your father but try and encourage him to participate in any group activities they offer. If he can't get himself to the activities they should be transporting him.

Let the activities director know which groups your father would like to attend and then try to visit during that time to see if he is there. Some activities you can do with him are : Play cards, if he can't follow a game you can make up a game that he could. I found that even some of the more advanced cases of dementia were able to play the card game War.

There are many coloring books available for adults so that could be a good activity. Check in your local book store or on the internet. Painting is fun too. You can get some nice water colors at a craft store and some canvas. Painting is good for creativity and for fine motor control. Train sets and Model making were also popular with some of the men too. Reading is good too. There are many audio books available or reading to him is also good. If he is still able to write try and set him up with a pen pal (could be a relative, just make sure they will write regularly)

Also, you can enlist a local High School Student (ask the local school for a recommendation) that would visit your father on a regular basis. Many students have to do volunteer work for school. Gardening is another great project. If the nursing home doesn't have a garden you should be able to keep some plants in his room for him to care for.

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