Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Foundation of America

Therapeutic Activities for 3 Main Stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Early Stage (Mild)

In this stage, people may forget words or misplace objects; forget something they just read; ask the same question over and over; have increased trouble making plans or organizing; or be unable to remember names when meeting new people.

Therapeutic Activities:

  • Trivia games, word puzzles and memory games
  • Passing a balloon in the air with a group
  • Reminiscing with family picture albums
  • Listening to favorite music
  • Storytelling
  • Flower arranging
  • Conversations with friends
Middle Stage (Moderate)

In this stage, people forget details about themselves; forget details about time, seasons, dates, and locations; have trouble cooking meals or ordering from a menu; get confused about what kind of clothes to wear; have a strong emotional need to have a purpose or care for something; sleep disorders become a problem; hygiene issues and incontinence can become a problem; will need help starting or continuing activities.

Therapeutic Activities:

  • Aromatherapy and /or light therapy to help with sleep
  • Small tasks like folding towels, or putting socks together
  • Family pictures, stories and conversations
  • Stuffed animal therapy (adult-appropriate, like dogs and cats) to help with tactile stimulation, comfort, and play
  • Baby doll therapy also as nurturing can become beneficial
Late Stage (Severe)

In this stage, there is almost total memory loss; The person might recognize faces but forget names; may also mistake a person for someone else, delusions may set in, such as thinking they need to go to work even though they no longer have a job; a strong need for holding something close for tactile stimulation, nurturing, companionship and comfort; basic abilities such as eating, walking, and sitting up fade during this period; can no longer identify thirst and hunger; will need help with all basic activities of daily living.

Therapeutic Activities:

  • Listening to familiar songs from the person’s past
  • Aromatherapy
  • Stuffed animals continue for comfort and companionship
  • Use of doll therapy to help with the need to nurture
  • Empathy, human touch and love

Have questions or need more information? Contact AFA’s Helpline at 866-232-8484 or click the chat icon in the lower right hand corner of this page.

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