Fall is a wonderful season of the year with lots of activities that your loved one with dementia can take part in.
Outdoor Fall Activities
Since the weather is cooler and you won’t have to worry about it being too hot for your loved one, fall is a great time to be outdoors, weather permitting!
Here are some ideas –
Fall Leaves – pick up a wide variety of fall leaves getting as many color and shape variations as you can. Then you can use your pile of leaves in various ways such as sorting – by color, by shape, or by kind of leaf. You can create a pattern and see if your loved one can continue the pattern. There are lots of craft projects, from Google or Pinterest, you can make with the leaves as well.
Fall Foliage Drive – Go for a drive and look at the fall foliage.
Go to a park and walk around. Take in the colors and the smells. Pick up various items, ie. nuts, shells, pieces of wood, small twigs. Think how you could use these in some kind of a project later.
Go to an apple butter festival or an apple orchard.
Go through a corn maze. (Caution – Be careful with this one. Consider how big it is, how hard and how long it is. It might be better to choose one that has an early out part so that you can exit out of the maze without doing the entire thing.) The last thing you want to have happen, is being in the middle of the maze with someone who panics or gets overly anxious.
Is there a pumpkin patch near you? Or a produce stand that sells fall pumpkins and gourds? Go pick out pumpkins, then take them home and carve them. Assistance may be needed for this. There’s a lot of variations you can do with the pumpkin carving – it doesn’t have to be a face.
Rake leaves – you wouldn’t want to overtax your loved one but they might enjoy a little bit of raking. Who knows, they might even enjoy falling into the leaf pile! Carefully, of course!
Indoor Fall Activities
Do something with fall scents. If you have sample scents, can your loved one identify what the item is by smell?
Taste testing – taste different kinds of apples, try the different kinds of fall squash.
Have your loved one help you bake, especially if that was something they always did anyways. Apple pie, Pumpkin pie, or make applesauce getting them involved in the paring of the apples. Or make cookies!
Journaling/Capture the memories
If you can, activities like those above could be good ways to generate an opportunity for you to journal or record their memories. You can use the freebie page below that you can download if you’d like.
Here are some question prompts you could try –
What does Fall make you think of?
What is your best memory of Fall?
What did you hate/enjoy about Fall?
What did you and your friends do in the Fall? Sports? Hunting?
Did you have extra chores/jobs you had to do during this time of the year?
Are there any funny stories you can remember about Fall?
Thanks to Pinterest there are many, many ideas for Fall crafts.
Here are a couple blog posts with lots of ideas for adult crafts.
My Fall Activities for Dementia
When I create activity pages I think of my mom and use that as my guide. Keeping her cognitive skills in mind, the activities on the pages are ones that she could have completed. Granted, she may have needed some assistance, but for the most part she could have done them.
My first one is a Halloween Activity Page.
This is a one page pdf with a few activities on it like a word search, unscrambling the letters to make a Halloween related word and filling in the missing word on a song title. There are items to color and a few other things to do.
The song titles are songs that have been around for a while, not recent ones that most likely they wouldn’t know.
The second item is my Halloween Activity Packet.
This packet will provide your loved one with multiple activities to do over the whole fall season.
There are 2 different sets of cards to use for matching activities. One is a set of jack-o-lantern faces and the other is a set of various Halloween picture cards.
There are pumpkins to color and/or draw crazy jack-o-lantern faces on.
A word search is included. The letter size is big and there’s white space between the letters and the words are common Halloween related words.
There’s also a variety of pages including a search and find, unscramble the letters, a trivia page, and a couple mazes.
So, hopefully fall weather will cooperate with you and you can take advantage of all the wonderful outside activities you can do in autumn. If it doesn’t, well then there’s lots you can do inside!