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Blog: Hospice Views

Crafting with Dementia Patients: Thanksgiving Fun

Thanksgiving is a time for young and old to gather together to feast on traditional American foods like turkey and cranberry sauce, while taking the time to relax and enjoy being with each other. For a loved one with dementia, the event can be fun and festive, but it can also be stressful since it changes their routine for the day.

One way to keep your loved one with dementia involved in the celebration -- and their stress low -- is to clearly communicate that the events for this day will be different than the regular routine. Once you’ve confirmed with your loved one that they understand it’s Thanksgiving, gather your family and friends who aren’t preparing the feast to work on an easy craft like these turkey decorations.

undefinedWhat You’ll Need:

  • Brown or black cup

  • Brown pom-poms

  • Construction paper

  • Googly eyes

Steps:

  1. undefinedTurn the cup upside down and glue the brown pom-pom to the bottom to make the turkey’s head.

  2. Cut the construction paper into 4” leaves, a triangle beak, a heart-shaped waddle and feet.

  3. Glue the construction paper leaves to the back of the cup to form tail feathers.

  4. undefinedGlue the beak and waddle to the front and add feet at the base of the cup.

  5. Add googly eyes to the brown pom-pom.

Special tips:

●      Get your loved one involved by starting the activity yourself and asking them to join in.

●      Assist with cutting the paper in advance if necessary.

●      Be flexible and don’t criticize. Enjoy the activity even if the end result isn’t perfect.

●      While doing the craft, play music they enjoy and engage them in conversation.

●      Activities have the best chance of success in the morning between breakfast and lunch when your loved one is well-rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again at another time.

Planning ahead will help create a successful Thanksgiving dinner for everyone. Read our tips on planning a successful holiday meal when your family member has dementia.

Do you have a love of crafts? To learn more about sharing your talents as a Crossroads Hospice volunteer, please call 888-564-3405 or submit a volunteer application on our Facebook page.

If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
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