Activities for Men with Alzheimer’s and Dementia 2 June 11 2015

We have received a great deal of positive feedback regarding our blog article, Activities for Men with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. In response, we have listed ten new activities—designed specifically for men.

As you probably know, more women than men are living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. According to 2015 figures from the Alzheimer’s Association, almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. Of the 5.1 million people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s in the United States, 3.2 million are women and 1.9 million are men.

While men make up the minority of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is important there are activities specifically designed for men to improve their quality of life and overall well-being.

There are a variety of activities in which men living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can participate in and enjoy. Below are ten activity suggestions for men:

Caution should be exercised when outdoors, in unfamiliar surroundings, or when using potentially harmful materials and/or equipment. Selection of an appropriate activity is dependent on individual ability; however, the user may participate or benefit from observing another person perform the activity.

Shoe Shine – Visit a local thrift shop and purchase a collection of men’s leather dress shoes. Provide black and brown shoe polish, applicators, rags, and a shoe brush. The smell of shoe polish may evoke memories and provide opportunities to reminisce.

All Aboard – Many men owned an electric train set when they were growing up. Consider setting up a train set. The person can help set up the track or simply watch the train circle the track.

Old MacDonald – For men that come from a farming background, consider planting a vegetable garden. Allow the person to plant the seeds, water them, and watch them grow. The person may also enjoy harvesting and preparing the vegetables.

Get Out!!! – Consider a community outing to a local automobile, aviation, or maritime museum.

It’s in the (Baseball) Cards – Many men collected and traded baseball cards when they were young. Gather a collection of baseball cards. Have the person sort and/or organize the cards. Encourage the person to talk about baseball and his favorite players.

Motor World – Visit a local thrift shop and purchase a collection of electric and/or small gasoline motors. Supply a set of tools to be used—flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers, open-end wrenches, pliers, a crescent wrench, etc. Instruct the person to tinker with and/or disassemble the motors.

America the Beautiful – Furnish and study a large map of the United States. Identify and discuss the states, state capitals, major cities, important landmarks, favorite vacation destinations, mountains, rivers, etc.

Now You’re Cookin’ – Most men enjoy a cook-out. Organize a well supervised barbeque. Light a charcoal or gas grill (Performed by caregiver or staff member only). Grill hamburgers, sausages, chicken, etc. The smells, sights, and excitement of a barbeque may evoke memories from the past.

Dog Days – A dog may evoke memories of a past family pet. Schedule a visit from “man’s best friend.” Allow the person to pet, feed, brush, play a game of fetch, or take the dog for a short walk.

On the Clock – Gather a collection of photographs with a focus on jobs, occupations, and careers. (Also consider: colleges, military service, sports activities, clubs or organizations, hobbies or leisure activities.) Encourage the person to discuss the photographs and their past employment.

Male-specific activities are important for men living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. If given the opportunity, proper resources, and step-by-step direction, they may not only be able to participate, but find great comfort and enjoyment in so doing.

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