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Blog: Hospice Views

Valentine Picture Frame: Activities for Dementia Patients

Hearts are overflowing with messages of love in February. When you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, relationships with spouses, parents, or other family members may change – but the love is still there. 

Finding activities for someone with dementia to do with you is a great way to demonstrate that love and way to engage with them even at later stages when they may no longer remember your name.

A craft like this Valentine Picture Frame allows you to connect over old photos, selecting the perfect photo of your loved one with a spouse or with you as a child. Ask questions to start conversation, but allow your loved one to share their stories in their own way. Don’t correct or argue with them even if you know the story isn’t true.

If any frustration arises, stay upbeat and redirect them to look at the birds outside or with a question about their childhood. If they don’t want to do the craft, put it away for another time.

When doing an activity with someone with dementia, the goal is always to have fun, not the end result.

Valentine Picture Frame

What You’ll Need:

  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Heart shaped doily
  • A photo
  • Safety scissors
  • Clear glue
  • Small felt heart
  • Ribbon for hanging

Steps: 

  1. Trace the cookie cutter on the back of the photo and cut out.
  2. Glue the photo to the frame.
  3. Glue to the back of the photo to the doily.
  4. Glue the small felt heart at the bottom of the cookie cutter heart.
  5. Allow to dry.
  6. Attach the ribbon at the back of the doily and allow to dry.

Caregiver Tips:

  1. If your loved one is not able to safely handle scissors, pre-cut the photo before starting the activity.
  2. While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, play their favorite songs softly in the background.
  3. Get your loved one involved by starting the activity yourself and asking them to join in.
  4. 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.
  5. If your loved one has dementia, a hospice program and hospice care team can provide support for both the patient and family. This added assistance can be key in avoiding caregiver burnout.

Get more ideas for activities for dementia patients.

If you have questions about how Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care supports patients with dementia and their families, please call us at 1-888-564-3405.

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