Crafting with Dementia Patients: Valentine’s Day Tree

Valentine TreeEven if Valentine's Day was previously your loved one’s favorite holiday, they may no longer understand it if they have dementia. You can still make it a special day for them to enjoy with an easy craft like a Valentine’s Day Tree.

Crafting can involve several areas of the brain, including memory, attention span and problem-solving capabilities. Creating a Valentine's Day Tree can engage your loved one on all those levels, plus showcase everything -- and everyone -- your loved one holds close to their hearts.

Gather the supplies, play their favorite love songs while you work on the activity and talk to them about the things they love.

 


What you’ll need:

  • Valentine Tree ItemsA container like a vase or tall cup

  • Tree branches

  • Construction paper

  • Magazines

  • Crayons or markers

  • Scissors

  • Yarn or ribbon

  • Glue stick




Steps:

  1. Valentine Tree How ToTake a healthy walk around the yard, neighborhood or in a local park. Look for tree branches that can make up the frame of your tree.

  2. Once home, arrange the branches in your container.

  3. Talk with your loved one about the things they love. Flip through magazines to find photos of these things - dogs, the ocean, flowers, favorite cars. Engage them in conversation about why they enjoy these things and why you enjoy them, too.

  4. Cut out the images. Printouts of family photos can also be cut. Trim the images into the shape of a heart.

  5. Cut your construction paper into hearts that will fit the photos you selected.

  6. Using the glue stick, add your photos to each construction paper heart. Cut some smaller white or pink hearts, so you can add the names of people that you love.

  7. Add a small hole to the top of each completed heart and string your ribbon or yarn through it for easy hanging.

  8. Arrange your hearts on the tree and use it to decorate a shelf, dresser or as a centerpiece.

 

Special tips:

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

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

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

  4. 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.

 

See more dementia craft ideas on our Pinterest Board.

 

If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
Copyright © 2015 Crossroads Hospice. All rights reserved.

Related Content
Heart Icon

Want to give back?