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Transcript: "Activities for Someone with Alzheimer's"

Cynthia D. Steele, RN, MPH
Johns Hopkins University Alzheimer's
Disease Center:

Planning activities throughout the day are very important, especially as someone becomes more and more impaired from an illness like Alzheimer's disease. The important thing to focus on there is the process of doing anything that the patient or the person finds pleasurable, not the product that results. So, for example, if they like to do simple parts of tasks they used to be able to do, like, if they would enjoy stirring a pot of food, where in the past they would have been able to do a complex recipe, that's a good thing. You should praise the person for it and enjoy it. Remember that it is the pleasurable moments that are important. The other thing about activity is that it's important to structure a routine of your day. If you think about it, patients are under a lot of stress, trying to figure out where they are, what they're to do next. So, it helps them a lot if you create a scaffold of activity around them. So basically, you get the person up at the same time each day, you have physical activity, predictable meals, and a bedtime routine as well. Adult day care centers are also a very important resource for families. There, persons with Alzheimer's disease can join with others doing activities that are social and pleasant for them. And that also gives the family member a needed respite break.

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