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Blog: Hospice Views

Soda Bottle Planters: Activities for Dementia Patients

soda planter dementia craft

Spring is here and greenery is popping up all around us. It’s the perfect time to participate in outdoor activities for dementia patients. For most caregivers involved in hospice patient care, this time of year provides many more opportunities to to get their loved one some tranquil time outdoors.  

According the Alzheimer’s Association, gardening is a great way to reduce stress for Alzheimer’s patients and their families. The time spent outdoors increases the exposure to light which helps to reduce the effects of sundowning and the exercise burns energy to allow for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Elmcroft Senior Living has found gardening offers a wide range of benefits to their residents with dementia. Read their Ten Tips for Creating a Safe Garden for Seniors with Alzheimer’s.

Even if you don’t have space for an outdoor garden of your own, easy crafts for seniors with dementia like these Soda Bottle Planters can be done outside as you soak in the sun.

what you need for your planter craft

soda bottle alzheimers craft

What You’ll Need:

  1. Plastic soda bottle
  2. Plastic bottle cap
  3. Googly eyes
  4. Glue
  5. Potting soil
  6. Plants or seeds

Steps:

  1. Before beginning the craft with your loved one, trim the bottle to the size you need it to be for your planter.
  2. Glue googly eyes onto the planter.
  3. Glue the base of the plastic bottle cap below the eyes to form a nose.
  4. Let the glued items dry.
  5. Fill the bottle with potting soil.
  6. Add your plants or seeds.

alzheimers plant craft

Caregiver Tips:

  1. You can use bottles of any size for this craft.
  2. Get your loved one involved by starting the activity yourself and asking them to join in.
  3. Activities for people with dementia 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.
  4. When spending time outside, be sure to wear sunscreen and to dress appropriately for the weather.
  5. Remember: with activities for dementia patients, the goal is for you to have fun doing it. Don’t worry about what the end result looks like.
  6. If your loved one has dementia, a hospice care team can provide support for both the patient and family. This added assistance can be key in avoiding caregiver burnout.

See more ideas for arts and crafts for dementia patients, plus caregiver tips, on our website.

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