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Blog: Hospice Views

Butterfly Mobile: Activities for Dementia Patients

butterfly mobile dementia crafty

Fun crafts and activities for someone with dementia can help them feel more engaged and give family members a new way to connect with them.

When a loved one is living with Alzheimer’s disease, the world around them can twist from a place of familiarity to a place of uncertainty and confusion. Creating a comfortable atmosphere helps prevent this from happening.

Keeping to a routine can go a long way in maintaining that sense of comfort. Take advantage of the morning hours to complete necessary tasks as many individuals with Alzheimer’s are better engaged during the day. Evenings should be kept quiet and dark to promote restful sleep.

During the busy days of summer when vacations and backyard barbecues are more common, families find that planning ahead makes the days more enjoyable for everyone. Ensure that your loved one with dementia has a quiet place to retreat if the activities of the day become too exhausting.

When you’re participating in outdoor activities, pay close attention to how much time your loved one is spending in the sun and whether they are wearing sunscreen and are dressed appropriately for the temperatures. You should also keep a close eye on whether they are getting enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Even those without dementia can get dehydrated or sunburnt during the summer, but a loved one with dementia may not be able to make their needs known so family caregivers need to be vigilant.

One way to enjoy summer in a shady spot or indoors with air conditioning is gathering together to make fun and easy crafts like the butterfly mobile below. Not only will this help to give your loved one with dementia an engaging activity to perform with their family, it can be a nice decorative touch for your home.

Butterfly Mobile 

What You’ll Need:

  • Round needlepoint circle       
  • Wood butterfly
  • Brightly colored cardstock
  • Yarn
  • Hole punch
  • Safety scissors
  • Colored pencils or crayons (optional)

 Steps:

  1. Trace the outline of the wood butterfly onto sheets of cardstock.
  2. Cut out each butterfly. You may wish to do this piece in advance if your loved one has difficulty with scissors.
  3. Use the hole punch to create a small hole at the top of each butterfly.
  4. If desired, use the pencils or crayons to decorate the cardstock butterflies.
  5. Tie the butterflies to the needlepoint frame using various lengths of yarn.
  6. Add additional yarn for easy hanging.

See more activities for dementia patients.

Caregiver Tips

  1. 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.
  2. Even though your loved one may not remember names or things that happened in recent days, they may still remember their childhood. Ask them to share stories.
  3. Activities for people with dementia have the best chance of success early in the day 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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