- Arts and Design
Crafts and Activities for People with Alzheimer's
Easy Crafts for those with Memory Issues
My Mother is a resident in an Alzheimer's unit at a local nursing home. Mom loves to stay busy and enjoys the craft time each afternoon. One day a week, I volunteer to put together a craft project for the residents. I have had a fun but challenging time looking for some crafts that would look nice but be easier enough to work with the residents who have a variety of different ability levels and attention spans.
On this page, I will share with you some of the projects that I have developed and found to use with the residents. I also have a list of future projects to help me remember what I've been thinking about. Perhaps you will find my list useful too!
photograph is my Mom and me with a finished craft project
photographs by Mary Beth Granger
Photo Greeting Cards - add your own photo
For one of the projects I bought a pack of photo greeting cards and brought in a number of photographs of flowers that I had taken. We spent a bit of time talking about the different flowers and then I let each person choose their favorite flower photo to add to their card. I then added the photo to the card while the residents looked through my box of stickers to pick out a few to decorate each card.
I also had cut out some verses from the insides of old cards that I read out loud and each person picked one verse for their card. We then assembled the cards and talked about who they would like to give their cards. Some were excited to have a card to send to an out of town relative, so I helped them to address and mail their cards. Others wanted to give the card to someone who would be visiting.
I feel this was a very successful project. Everyone seemed pleased with the finished product. You can see my Mom holding her card in the photo at the beginning of this page.
Show by my Granddaughters - residents enjoy visits from children
When my granddaughters were in town I brought them up to visit my Mom regularly. The residents really enjoyed the interaction with the girls so on the Friday before they left they put on a "show" for the residents. They told a couple of jokes, sang some songs and showed how they could use a hula hoop. The residents seemed to really enjoy the show!
Shell Decorated Box
simple to make
This box was a very simple project and yet the residents really enjoyed it. i bought boxes from the dollar bins at Target that were already finished boxes. I then laid out some of my shells and an initial for each resident and they laid out a decoration plan on the top of the box. My granddaughters were visiting that day and we all helped the residents to glue down their items on the boxes. They now had a colorful box to keep their trinkets.
Photograph is of my Mom showing off her finished box.
Show and Tell
and coloring sheets
I have found another activity that works great with the residents is a "Show and Tell" type of program. I pick a subject that I know a bit about and bring some items to use to tell about the subject.
I love everything about lighthouses so on my first "Show and Tell" I brought in my lighthouse figurines and some of the photos I've taken of lighthouses. I showed them to the residents with a story about each of the lighthouses. When I was finished, I passed out coloring sheets of a lighthouse. This program went over well and the male residents also seemed to like the program.
On my second " Show and Tell" I brought in items from our baseball Cardinal collection. I talked about the Cardinals and a bit about their history. This was a hit with many of the people. I then had a coloring sheet with the Cardinal emblem.
photograph shows lighthouse in Jupiter Florida.
July 4th Bell - easy holiday craft
Here is a very easy holiday craft for July 4th. It could also be adapted for other occasions. All you need is a paper cup, pipe cleaner, jingle bell, yarn and some stickers.
To make you punch a small hole in the top of the cup to stick the pipe cleaner through. After you stick part of the pipe cleaner through the hole make a small loop with it inside the cup to attach a piece of yarn with bells on the end. I had the participants decorate the cup with stickers.
Now they have a festive bell that they can hang on their door knobs or walkers.
Shell and Bead Necklace
a favorite project
The ladies seem to love to make jewelry. In this craft I used some of the shells I found at the beach with holes in the top and the ladies surrounded them with beads on some colored necklace string that was purchased at a local craft store.
Here Mom shows off her finished necklace.
Wooden Decorative Birdhouses - painting project
I have found that the ladies at Mom's place love to paint. I found these cute little birdhouses at a local craft shop for $1 each. I gave each of the ladies two different colors in small cups, a paint brush, and a cup of water. They had so much fun painting their birdhouses and they were so proud of them when they were done. I will look for more painting projects.
Activities with Chestnut Terrace Group - alzheimer unit
This section is for me to keep track of the activities that I have completed with Mom's group. If you have any questions about any of the activities just send me a note.
- Seashell Cross
- Seashell Necklace
- Flower Photo Greeting Cards
- Lighthouse Talk and Coloring Sheet
- Cardinal Talk and Coloring Sheet
- Show with my granddaughters and making box covered with shells.
- Decorate Foam Butterflies
- Frames made of Dove bar sticks--painted and decorated
- July 4th bell show and tell with my Mom's bell collection and bell making craft.
- Felt Owl Pins
- Jewel Leaves
- Foam Pumpkins
- Halloween Masks
- Scratch Jack O Lanterns
- Give Thanks Magnets
- Turkey Pins
- Trees out of folded Magazines
- Paint Glass Ornaments
- Snowman from Paint Stir Sticks
- Christmas Felt magnets
- Christmas Bells out of paper cups
- Snowmen Magnets
- Heart sticker boxes
- Valentine Cards
My Mom, Ann Schroeder, went to heaven on March 2, 2014.
Love you Mom.
I'm always looking for new ideas of easy crafts. Let me know if you have an idea.