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Blog: Hospice Views

Pumpkin Candy Dish: Activities for Dementia Patients

pumpkin candy dish dementia activities

If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, holidays can cause new challenges as you break from your routine for festivities and visits with friends and family. This is especially true of Halloween, where spooky surprises are all part of the fun for many people. These can cause anxiety and agitation for those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

Every individual responds differently, so it’s important to know which activities for a loved one with dementia are fun and which can be frightening for them. Be realistic about what activities your loved one with dementia may be able to participate in. A costume party might be too much, while a weekday visit to a pumpkin patch when the crowds are gone could make for a fun outing.

When decorating your home, choose fall décor like the pumpkin candy dish below over ghosts and goblins that can be frightening. Additionally, avoid using flickering lights, recordings of scary sounds, or voice/motion-activated décor.

On the actual night of Halloween, if you don’t want the doorbell ringing, you can turn your light off to discourage trick or treaters and leave a bowl of candy outside.

Pumpkin Candy Dish

What You’ll Need:

  • A small terracotta pot
  • A matching terracotta saucer
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wooden drawer knob
  • Green pipe cleaner 
  • Clear Glue

Steps:

  1. Paint a jack o’lantern face on your pot.
  2. Glue the drawer knob to the base of your terracotta saucer.
  3. Allow paint and glue to dry.
  4. Tie a knot on the knob with the pipe cleaner to make a leaf.
  5. Fill with treats!

See more activities for dementia patients.

Caregiver Tips

  1. If your pot isn’t orange, you can paint it to make it look more like a pumpkin.
  2. While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, engage them in conversation. Play music they enjoy softly in the background to create a positive mood.
  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 another time.

Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to support patients with dementia and their families. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about how our unique care programs help provide a higher quality of life for dementia patients while helping caregivers avoid burnout.

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