By Linda Lucas, AD

Over the past year, Krakowski has made good
use of the abilities remaining in her mother,
Anna Nelson, who is in the early stages of the
disease. Krakowski has planned various outings
and activities, including a sunset harbor cruise
on her mother's birthday that brought particular
enjoyment to both.   

A harbor cruise might work for some, but be too
ambitious for others. Here are other activities
that have been endorsed by caregivers for their
loved ones with Alzheimer's disease. Keep in
mind that activities revolving around children and
animals usually are successful in bringing
enjoyment to Alzheimer's patients, always taking
into account their tolerance of crowds and noise,
experts say.

  • Stroll through a favorite park together.
  • Go to a Krispy Kreme donut shop and
    watch the goodies being created and
    sent along the conveyor belt.
  • Visit the zoo, or, if crowds are a problem,
    an animal shelter.
  • Attend a summer outdoor concert or other
    live music show.
  • Have lunch at fast-food restaurants that
    have playgrounds and watch the children
  • Tour a greenhouse, nursery or fancy
  • Go for ice cream cones along the
    boardwalk, pier, main street or any
    special gathering spot in town.
  • Write names on family photos while the
    Alzheimer's patient still remembers.
  • Take a stroll down "memory lane" with
    the person, if he or she still has long-
    term memory.
  • Write a mini-biography using the
    information from the reminiscence and
    present it to him or her in a formal book
  • Dine at a favorite restaurant from the
    patient's earlier days.
  • Watch a sunset at a local park, beach,
    vista, etc.
  • Stroll on the beach during hours most
    conducive for the patient (weekends for
    those who like to "people watch"; non-
    peak hours for those agitated by crowds).
  • At Christmas, drive through
    neighborhoods decorated with lights and
  • For a person who likes to dance, arrange
    several dance partners to take turns with
    him or her on the floor. This can make the
    patient feel like the most important
    person in the room.
  • Find an elevated spot in town on the
    Fourth of July and watch as many
    fireworks shows as possible.
  • Rent a favorite old movie, pop a batch of
    popcorn and enjoy the show together.

Randy Franz is a Southern California-based freelance
journalist who writes extensively about medical and
health topics.

Excellent sources for
understanding and helping
residents with Alzheimer's
by Linda Lucas, AD

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