Activity Ideas for Veterans with Alzheimer’s or Dementia November 05 2014
Veterans Day is celebrated November 11th. It's a day to remember and honor those service people who have served our country and worked hard to protect us and our freedom. Many seniors living with memory loss have retained special memories of their loved ones in the military or were in the military themselves. Veterans Day is an excellent time for facilities to conduct activities and provide veterans an opportunity to reminisce about the memorable times serving our country.
There are a variety of activities in which veterans living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can participate in and enjoy. Below are some suggestions:
- Hold a Flag-Raising Ceremony. Weather permitting, an outdoor flag-raising ceremony permits group participation in a patriotic activity. The ceremony could include reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” and/or the singing of the “National Anthem.”
- Recognize and Honor Resident Veterans. Conduct a ceremony and present each veteran with a U.S. flag pin and a special certificate commemorating their service and dedication to our country.
- Conduct a Veterans Day Music Program. A midday concert at the facility may be especially dedicated to Veterans Day. A program might include patriotic songs, the songs of the various branches of the United Stated Armed Forces, or selections known to have been popular during America’s wars.
- Wear Red Poppy Pins. Provide red poppy pins to all residents in the facility to recognize and honor the veterans.
- Recite the “Gettysburg Address” or Patrick Henry's, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” Speech. The celebration may be concluded with a medley of songs of the various branches of the United Stated Armed Forces.
- Attend a Community Veterans Day Celebration. Many communities hold parades and vigils on Veterans Day. Contact your local VA or local government for more information.
- Create a Veterans Wall. Dedicate a wall in the facility to honor all the residents who served in the military. Exhibit the veteran’s photo, a brief history of their military branch, and time served.
- Invite a Veteran Guest Speaker. Contact your local VA—their Public Affairs Officer will likely be able to identify a good guest speaker. There are many veterans who work at VA facilities and would be happy to be to speak to the residents.
Interacting with veterans living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia is a great way to brighten their day, plus, you’re likely to hear some fascinating stories about their time in the service.
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