Father’s Day can cause mixed feelings for those caring for a dad living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It’s common to experience a sense of loss for the way things used to be and to feel guilty about what we think we should do, or how we think we should feel. Celebrating Father’s Day reminds you of the dad you used to know, but now he forgets your name or who you even are, and that can be heartbreaking.
But this doesn’t mean the day should pass without being recognised. If you’re wondering what the best Father’s gift for Dad is if he’s living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia we can help. We’ve put together Father’s Day activity and present ideas. Find out how to make Father’s Day full of love and appreciation.
Top tips for Father’s Day with a Dad living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
1) Get Dad involved with gardening
Gardening is soothing for many of those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and has several mental and physical benefits. It engages the senses providing positive emotions that they may no longer experience regularly.
If Dad enjoys nature, see if he’d like to spend some time out together in the garden. If Dad doesn’t have access to a garden, how about a walk through a nearby park? Buy some of his favourite plants, flowers and garden features ahead of time so that you can surprise him on the day.
2) Have a go at some Puzzles
Those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia often drawn to puzzles. Why not buy an activity book or a puzzle for Dad and have a go at one or two together? It’s a good idea to buy one with larger pieces to avoid frustration.
Why not consider personalising a puzzle? Add images of the grandchildren and different family members to your puzzle online. If you’ve noticed that Dad particularly struggles with remembering family names or faces, this could be a nice way of engaging with him on Father’s Day because the photographic puzzle might encourage chatter about his loved ones.
3) Get creative with some Art
Creative activities can be really stimulating for someone living with Alzheimer’s. Why not buy a selection of textured paper and brightly coloured art materials for him. Take some paints/crayons or felt tips, draw a picture and encourage dad to participate and see what he wants to offer in return.
4) Listen to music and dance
If dad is living with Alzheimer’s,you might notice that he often has bursts of energy, or that he responds well to music. Buying a DVD of dance lessons and moving along with the instructor would be a fun Father’s Day to involve Dad in.
Alternatively, if he prefers to watch others dance, rather than get up herself consider buying or downloading something he used to enjoy.
5) Set up a movie night or afternoon
This one is one of our favourite Father’s Day ideas. If film used to light up Dad’s eyes, pick out one of his favourite movies because it might encourage memories and moments of nostalgia for him. Don’t expect him to sit through the entire movie – even a few moments of laughter or recognition of a familiar face will be enjoyable. You might find he takes the lead on how much he likes to watch.
6) Cook him a homemade meal
If you’re looking for things to do on Father’s Day that involve food, making a special meal together could be a lovely Father’s Day activity. Even if his appetite is gone, preparing a special food he used to like, perhaps something he used to make when you were young will bring back memories.
7) Bake a cake, or any dish of his
Baking is something you can do together — especially if you’re making homemade bread that requires kneading and getting hands on. Research has shown that not only can cooking and baking activities help someone living with Alzheimer’s feel less agitated, but also brighten their mood because they feel more in control and independent.
My father has Dementia…what Father’s Day gifts should I get him?
Now you’ve got some ideas for things to do on ather’s Day with your dad. But how about gifts for someone with Alzheimer’s and Dementia? Read on to discover 6 simple Father’s Day gifts for someone living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
1) Large wall calendar
Create a large wall calendar full of family photos. Photographs and albums can help someone living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s feel less lonely and is a way of providing comfort. Why not get your relatives involved and plan it out together.
When someone is living with Alzheimer’s, it can affect their visual perception, especially in the later stages. They might find it easier to see brighter colours, but struggle to distinguish one item from the next if they’re in a room with lots of monochromatic colours, such as black and white.
That’s why the vibrant colours, shapes and scents of flowers can be very healthy for someone living with Alzheimer’s because it can be a great way of stimulating their senses. Buy his favourite flowered plant to make him smile on Father’s Day, and know that you’re supporting him too.
4) Voice Controlled Alarm Clocks with Reminders
It’s widely known that Alzheimer’s often leads to memory loss. If dad is struggling to remember the little things in his day-to-day life, a voice controlled alarm clock could really help him.
You can either set up the alarm clock traditionally according to his routine or record a message that will sound a reminder for a specific task at that selected time. This will help him remember to eat and drink, when he should, take medication, or make phone calls, even if you’re not there to remind him. It might take some time for him, and you, to get used to, but it could prove helpful in the long run.
5) Digital calendar clock
Does dad struggle with poor eyesight due to living with Alzheimer’s? If so, a digital calendar clock is ideal. The time and date appears in large bold letters with a non-glare display and can come in different languages. They’re extremely handy as their sizeable display means that dad can easily see the time from wherever he sits.
6) Voice Activated Technology
There are a number of voice controlled devices on the market however Amazon Echo’s Alexa is our favourite and has amazing potential for helping our elderly living with Alzheimers and Dementia.
We hope we’ve provided you with some inspiration for things to do on Father’s Day with a dad who’s living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia as well as some practical, simple Father’s Day gift ideas.
Get in touch today
In the light of coronavirus a number of families are unable to visit dad this Father’s Day. If you’d like some extra support caring for dad we can help. Our professional, trained carers offer full-time live in care or even temporary support. We’re here to help, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
Our live in carers, understand the different stages of Alzheimer’s and that it can affect every individual in its own way, and are trained with coping mechanisms to help support each individual and their family.
If you’d like to find out how we can provide specialist support to you and your loved one, call our care team today to arrange a FREE care assessment and see how our carers could help.