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What are some good products to keep Mom engaged?

Posted by Virginia

I am caring for my 92 year old mother, who has Alzheimer's.  I am trying to keep her mind engaged and her self esteem up.  So far, I've discovered coloring books, simple children's games, and photograph albums.  I've also found that leaving her a tender, comforting message on a recorder that's simple to operate helps to keep her calm and oriented.  (See  Please . . . what are some other tools for the caregiver's toolkit?
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I like music - any kind of music that she enjoys.  You can sing together, or encourage her to sing or dance to the music.  I also enjoy movies with closed captioning, especially musicals.  See if she enjoys reading along with the dialogue or singing along with the songs.  If you can, walk with her every day.  Anything physical is a great activity and will help her maintain her mental functioning as much as possible.  Magazines and safe scissors, combined with poster board and glue sticks, might give her the opportunity to creatively select pictures and paste them on a poster.  Pets are great; gardens are wonderful (she might need assistance with these activities).  Anything that evokes memories and stimulates the sense can be wonderful.  Look for memory books and magazines, and keep her supply fresh for new images and ideas.

An excellent book that might give you lots of ideas is "The Best Friends Book of Alzheimer's Activities" by Virginia Bell and David Troxel (Published by Health Professions Press).  Good luck and have fun!

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