After a long winter, spring is here! This means the weather is warmer, flowers are blooming, and we start celebrating one of our favorite holidays: Easter! There are many activities that Alzheimer’s caretakers or family members can plan for patients, to help them prepare for Easter and enjoy the holiday.
BEST EASTER ACTIVITIES FOR ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS:
?Attend Easter church service. Dressing up for church, and hearing an Easter Sermon and hymns may bring back cherished memories of days long ago.
?Use family Easter recipes (or improvise by finding a recipe online) to cook together. Ask your loved ones about their favorite Easter dish, and use an old family recipe to cook it, or find a close equivalent online. Make sure that the Alzheimer’s patient is under supervision when cooking or preparing food in the kitchen.
?Decorate Easter eggs and prepare Easter baskets. This is a fun activity for all ages. Be careful not to leave the patient alone with the dye-colored water, which may look like fruit juice. Prepare Easter baskets for the children in the family or in the community, and include candy and toys, stickers and of course Easter eggs!
?Easter egg hunt. Depending on the mental and physical capacity of the patient, ask them to either help hide the eggs for the Easter egg hunt, have the children and patients join in the fun of searching for Easter eggs together, or ask them to watch and enjoy the treasure hunt and cheer for the children.
?Make Easter cards and decorate them with stickers. Go around the facility or the neighborhood and drop the cards off to neighbors and friends.
?Talk about Easter traditions of the past – what did the Alzheimer’s patient do as a child? Prompt her or him with some questions:
?Did you attend Easter church service?
?Did you wear an Easter bonnet? What was the color of your favorite bonnet?
?Did you dye eggs? How did you dye them? What was your favorite hiding place for the Easter egg hunt?
?What was your favorite dish served at Easter? What were some of the ingredients?
?Do you remember the movie “Easter Parade” with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland? What was your favorite part of the movie? What about Ben-Hur?
If you celebrate Easter with your Alzheimer’s loved ones and other family members, remind the family to be patient and kind. When the patients make statements that are just not true, it is not necessary to confront and correct them. Also, if they ask to “go home” even though they are already at home, distract them gently with a question about their childhood, or ask them about their favorite vacation or favorite movie. Celebrating Easter together is a fantastic opportunity to bond with a loved one and hopefully create lasting memories for younger generations.
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