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Springtime Activities for a Person with Dementia

Posted on: Feb 17, 2021

Spring is a season of better weather, longer days, flowers, and a time of rebirth after a challenging Winter. This year, Spring will be a particularly hopeful time as our country comes out of the destructive pandemic. If you are a family caregiver to a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, you are ready for a break! 

Here are some ideas for activities and engagement around the theme of Springtime:

Spring Cleaning – People with dementia benefit from being productive and having a sense of purpose. Involve your family member as much as possible in some spring-cleaning chores including sweeping and dusting (and sweeping outside), putting away winter clothes, organizing drawers, cleaning out the pantry, and doing some light gardening.

Celebrate Spring flowers – Enjoy putting together a vase of cut tulips or Easter lilies that evoke the spirit of springtime. 

Spend time outdoors – With better weather, spend more time outdoors. Being outside is sensory, spiritual and delivers natural Vitamin D. Time outdoors can also reduce depression, an enemy of the brain.

Enjoy some baby animals – If you live near a farm or rural area, take a drive to see the lambs or foals. Closer to home, invite a neighbor to bring by or show off a new kitten or puppy. If this is not an option, enjoy some YouTube videos of nature at its best.

Celebrate the spirit – If your family celebrates Easter or Passover, enjoy favorite spiritual readings, traditional foods, and other long-held traditions. Enjoy decorating the home for these holidays and get a bit “crafty”—how about creating some homemade greeting cards to send out to friends and family related to the holidays.

Create a “Spring Break” party – Spring break travel and activities will be cancelled or subdued this year due to the pandemic but why not create your own festivities? Put together a Springtime tea party with your best dishes and tablecloths or host a socially distancing, outdoor barbecue to enjoy some good food and company with a small group of trusted family members. 

Put a “Spring in your Step” – Encourage exercise and walking including activities like stretching and chair yoga. Studies have shown that exercise is not only good for the body, but it is also good for the brain.

Enjoy this special season with your family member and use these ideas as a “Springboard” for your own creative planning.

David Troxel, MPH, co-author of The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care and Consultant to Christian Horizons Pathway Memory Support Program

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