Valentine’s Day is all about expressions of love. That’s true even when the person you love may no longer connect in the ways they have in the past due to Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Their loved one may no longer remember their name or precious memories. They may no longer be able to speak. There may be understandable frustration on both sides of the relationship.
Valentine’s Day, in these situations, can still be a day to express your love by creating new moments for engagement. A gift of flowers or a stuffed animal may still bring a spark. Put together a special meal of foods that your loved one still enjoys. Play music you have always loved to listen to together.
Spouses, family members, and other loved ones can also use crafts as fun activities for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. The beaded Valentine heart craft below can be fun to create and can help bring a festive spirit to your loved one’s home or room.
What You’ll Need:
- Pipe cleaners
- Ribbon for hanging
- Cookie sheet or a tray
- Place your materials on a cookie sheet or in a tray to avoid beads rolling away.
- String your beads onto the pipe cleaners.
- Bend the pipe cleaner into a heart shape.
- Add ribbon to hang the hearts.
- While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, engage them in conversation. Play music they enjoy softly in the background to create a positive mood.
- Even though your loved one may not remember names or things that happened in recent days, they may still remember their childhood. Ask them to share stories.
- Activities for people with dementia have the best chance of success early in the day when your loved one is well rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again another time.
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