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Adding fun to your caregiving activities

A well-rounded caregiver provides a loved one with quality-of-life care along with more routine daily living care. This means incorporating enjoyable, fun activities into all daily living tasks and throughout your contact with your care recipient.

Here’s a list of fun activities you can do with seniors. Some are appropriate for all; others work best with individuals with memory loss or dementia.

In the morning

  • Sing a wake-up song with the senior. Lyrics like “It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up in the morning!” or a song like “You are my Sunshine” might be familiar and help him or her wake up in a happy mood.
  • Talk about old times while doing morning care. Ask, “Do you remember your first fancy dress?” or “Do you remember your first suit?” As he or she reminisces, you might find yourself learning all sorts of things you never knew about your loved one!
  • Try rhyming games: Say, “Here’s your top. What rhymes with top? Bop, hop… What else?”
  • Offer a morning newspaper to your loved one. If he or she have trouble seeing or reading, offer to read some articles out loud.
  • Serve morning mid-meal snacks with a “tea party” atmosphere. Use fine and fancy plates and cups; put out a pretty table cloth, napkins, and a few fresh flowers in a glass. Make it fun and playful! Join in with a cup of coffee, cookie, or fruit, and engage the senior in some light conversation.

In the afternoon

  • Weather permitting, take your senior out for a walk and fresh air. Look around and point out things of interest along your path.
  • Put on music from the Big Band era or other music enjoyed “back in the day” and dance or move with the senior.
  • Bake with your loved one! Have him or her help you pour and mix pre-measured ingredients for homemade cookies or muffins.

Remember to use the ideas that feel most comfortable and fun to you both. You won’t be helping your loved one have fun if you’re not having fun too!

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Information courtesy of Institution of Professional Care Education

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