5 Evening Activities for Someone with Dementia

From movies to music, discover activities caregivers can plan for their loved ones


- Posted on Feb 14, 2019

5 Evening Activities for Someone with Dementia

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

By the end of the day, you may be too tired to sit and talk with your loved one who has dementia. Your loved one may need to wind down, too. Spending the evening listening to music or watching movies works well for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. These activities may also give you as a caregiver a bit of a break.

· Your loved one may not be able to recall the name of common household items or express thoughts well, but he or she may still know all the old lyrics to a cherished song or hymn. Music is particularly effective for people with cognitive loss. It is not unusual for people with dementia to remember the words of songs and to enjoy music long after their writing and speech skills have diminished.

· Evening activities involving music can include a simple sing-along, an “evening concert” where you listen to some of your favorite songs or singers on CD player, cable/satellite television system or internet radio. It’s nice to take an occasional break to discuss the lyrics or performer.

· Music has an added dividend – it may actually be therapeutic for persons with dementia. A recent Boston University study noted that music might help persons with Alzheimer’s disease retain information longer. [Source: http://www.bu.edu/today/2010/music-boosts-memory-in-alzheimer%E2%80%99s/].

· A fun evening ritual can be “movie night.” You can choose a monthly theme like screwball comedies, movie musicals or films themed around a particular star like Cary Grant, Gene Kelly or Katharine Hepburn. Use the Internet to pull up trivia about the star so that you can have some fun facts to discuss.

· Add zing to the event. Pop some popcorn or serve some healthy snacks and beverages. If you have younger children or grandchildren in the home, use a movie night to bridge the generations. Show the movie over special nights if your loved one’s attention span is short. Pause the film to enjoy the conversation. You might want to talk about the costumes, the scenery or even the theme of the movie.

· One bonus of “movie night” is that it may allow you to give yourself a break. While your loved one is settling down and having fun, you may be able to get some chores done, organize things for the next day, or simply take a breather!

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