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Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care
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Activity Resources



  • NAAPCC, National Association of Activity Professionals, Credentialing Center, NAAP Credentialing Center
  • Forget Me Not Foundation - Fantastic Idea that all activity directors should participate in. They believe in enhancing lives and spreading joy to residents and patients of nursing homes, hospitals and other medical facilities through beauty of flowers. This is a non profit foundation who will deliver donated fresh cut flowers from their partners and show you how to break them down and utilize them. If it is not offered in your state, find out how to bring this program to your state. Great Idea!!!


Activities for In Home Care Givers

Activites for in-home caregivers

  1. Best Alzheimer's Products Offers this observation:
    One concern of many caregivers is that some of the recommended activities for people with Alzheimer's are demeaning to the patient. 
    Alison Mahoney addresses this concern in a studypublished in the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias. She maintains that, "stage-appropriate activities do not demean dementia patients when caregivers present play as a legitimate recreation and create a sense of fun and interest."
  2. Participate in Activities at Local Senior Centers
    senior centers and adult day care is becoming increasingly more common. This is a good opportunity for both of you. For your patient, he can take part in planned activities and interact with others his age. For you, it can give you a break and some free time. There is so much that an Alzheimer's patient can do.
  3. Toys for Alzheimer's patients should be considered as a part of a complete care program unless they are objected to by the patient herself.
  4. Tangle Therapy 
    sized to fit in the palm and is designed to provide a one of a kind feel and action. Manipulating the Tangle relieves minor stress, improves range of hand motion, restores motion of joints, improves muscle performance, strengthens finger muscles, rehabilitates hand muscles and joints. Tangle®Therapy is appropriate for people in all stages
  5. Walking Blog with Wendy Bumgardner
    Walking Helps Aging Brains: needed for walking helped keep the brain better organized.
  6. taking a drive,
  7. doing housework
  8. Pop Popcorn In A Pan
  9. looking at pictures or magazines
  10. watching movies,
  11. baking cookies,
  12. listening to music,
  13. carve" a magnetic pumpkin, who happily haunts your fridge.
    The removable features make face-lifts easy.
  14. singing
  15. dancing
  16. Go Fish For 2 players. Go Fish is a set collection game in which players try to gather sets of four cards of the same rank by asking other players for cards they might have.
  17. Spoons For 3 to 13 players. Spoons is a clever card game that can be played by children and adults together. This card game also goes by the names Pig and Tongue, and spoons are not necessary to play those versions of the game.
  18. "Guess Who?" is a game for two players
  19. Old Maid For 3 to 8 players. Old Maid is part of a family of card games known as "scapegoat" games. In scapegoat games, the goal is to avoid having a particular card or cards.
  20. Snap For 2 to 12 players. Snap is a matching game, often played with custom decks specifically designed for the game. These rules are for playing Snap with a standard deck of cards.
  21. Slamwich A variation of the classic game Slap Jack, Slamwich is played with a deck of cards shaped like slices of bread. Each card depicts a sandwich ingredient. After the cards are dealt, players take turns putting one of their cards face up on a center stack. If the same ingredient is turned up twice in a row, or with only one other card between them, the first player to slam the deck wins the whole pile. Cards depicting a thief require that you slap the deck while yelling, "Stop, thief!"
  22. Bananagrams Bananagrams, the 2009 Game of the Year,
  23. Monopoly Junior Games for children should be short in duration to fit their attention spans,
  24. Making bead jewelry
    perfect project completed project takes an hour or less.
  25. cribbage and backgammon.
  26. gluing paper beads 
    incorporate paper crafting into your jewelry repertoire. The materials are easy to find and the technique is simple
  27. goofy "kid games" like Jenga and Don't Spill the Beans can be fun
  28. Lost Cities (short, easy game)
  29. Handmade -Paper
    By Kate Pullen, Guide for Rubber Stamping Projects Invitations Handmade Card
  30. Get some dwarf fruit trees, plant in a pot and water and tend to
  31. ciality paper 
    available and these can be a great way to add texture and interest to a rubber stamping, scrapbooking or other papercraft projects.
  32. two-person game is Pente.
  33. Some individuals really enjoyed scrap booking.
  34. The game Battleship (also known as Battleships) is a guessing game played by two people. It is known throughout the world as a pencil and paper game
  35. Xmas ornaments
  36. Chinese checkers
    (alternative spelling Chinese chequers) is a board game that can be played by two
  37. a board with three pegs on it, and three rope circles, and its a homemade toss game
  38. etch a sketch
  39. using a brush to cover a sheet of card with coloured paint, cut the painted card into strips and laminate.
    The resulting bookmarks are a quick and easy way to boost self esteem
  40. Isola is a two-player abstract strategy board game.
    It is played on a 6x8 board
  41. Ghosts (Finnish: Kummituspeli, Swedish: Spökspelet)
    is a board game designed by Alex Randolph for two players, released in 1982 by Milton Bradley.
  42. Guess Who?
    a two-player guessing game created by Ora and Theo Coster, also known as Theora Design
  43. As handmade paper 
    is typically more expensive than other craft papers an economical way to use it is just as a feature on a project, adding decoration and texture rather than using it to make an entire project.
  44. Making a Folded Box for Stamping Projects
  45. board game named "Carcassonne,
  46. Paper Flowers paper flowers are fun to make and can be customized with rubber stamps.
  47. Pencil Holder
    recycle old food packaging into useful pencil holders. A great way to use up odds and ends of paper
  48. Air Dry Clay Ornament - use air dry clay
  49. The Memory Magic™ Program, 
    a comprehensive therapeutic intervention, uses Montessori principles with a person-centered approach.
  50. sort a deck of cards into colors and suits instead
  51. pet therapy
  52. relaxation, and structured sessions combining meditation, relaxation, sensory awareness and guided imagery beneficial form of therapy for people with Alzheimer’s is a therapy garden
  53. household chores,
    let person fold some laundry
  54. Discuss the newspaper or reminisce about old photos
  55. wash dishes
  56. Go for walks in the neighborhood, go for a drive, or spend time at a park.
  57. Activity blankets or fidget aprons,
    also called Activity Aprons that a low functioning senior can keep on their lap, that has many activities for their hands like strings to tie or braid, buttons to open and close, etc, are good to keep them occupied for a time and keep the hands and fingers nimble
  58. Memory Circles
    This Memory Activity is appropriate for people in early, middle and late stages
  59. Memory Jogging Puzzles
    encourage problem solving, like word search, sudoku and crosswords.
  60. Book Making
    go through different magazines and look for a specific item. Examples: birds,ladies,babies, cats, dogs, food, cars etc. then cut the items out and make "books".
  61. Simplify old hobbies.
    For those who liked to knit, try a simpler pattern. If they enjoy crossword puzzles, try a jigsaw puzzle with large pieces.
  62. Find the inner artist.
    Paint with watercolors, draw with crayons. People with Alzheimer's may not judge themselves as harshly as they once did, so they may finally free their inner artists.
  63. Participate in a yoga or tai chi class at your local community center.
    Simplify by picking only a couple of moves to try, or watch a yoga tape together.
  64. Write down family stories.
    Keep a book of the memories your loved one has related, and ask her to read it to the grandchildren.
  65. Give her dolls with zippers and buttons to play with or soft teddy bears, textured cloth, or fur to stroke.
  66. A fish tank or a window in front of a bird feeder may interest someone for hours.
  67. Plant seeds indoors or outdoors
  68. Cut pictures out of greeting cards or magazines
  69. Play dominoes
  70. Bake homemade bread
  71. Play with tops or jacks
  72. Write a poem together
  73. String Cheerios® to hang outside for birds
  74. Look at a map of the United States and identify states and capitals
  75. Play horseshoes
  76. Write a letter to a friend or family member
  77. Pop popcorn
  78. Make paper butterflies
  79. Finish famous sayings
  80. Model with play dough
  81. Arrange fresh flowers
  82. Recite nursery rhymes
  83. Roll yarn into a ball
  84. Trace and cut out autumn leaves
  85. Ask the person to show you how to knit or sew (or another favorite hobby)
  86. Make a picture frame our of popsicle sticks and glitt
  87. Play a musical instrument
  88. Ask the person about his or her favorite pet
  89. Read aloud and use visual aids
    such as memory poems, family pictures, or stories about "the days gone by" stimulate reminiscences. Ideas include Chicken Soup for the Soul series and Yesterdays by NaDezan, and other short stories
  90. sorting small, colorful pom-poms and placing them into the painted compartments of an ice-cube tray that match them
  91. work with a screwdriver,
    concentrating on driving screws into four holes that have been drilled in a smooth piece of wood
  92. Sadie
    places pegs of graduated sizes into their respective holes in a long wooden block.
  93. putting together simple two-piece puzzles made from magazine photos
    that have been cut out and laminated
  94. using a plastic ice cream scoop to remove painted golf balls from a bowl and place them into the color-matched wells of a muffin tin
  95. the memory skills of the game Concentration with boards like those used in a game of bingo
  96. Finger painting, playing marbles
  97. keep busy and engaged with repetitive seasonal activities.
  98. Set the person to work stringing garlands.
    All you need is a long heavy thread and a darning needle. Try stringing cranberries, popcorn, even O-shaped cereal (Fruit Loops are cheerfully colorful).
  99. Make pomanders. Clove-studded oranges
    to hang or display in a bowl
  100. Make cookies.
    Make Someone famous for cookies may miss the kitchen activity.
  101. Ball Roll The object is to roll a colorful ball across the table to each other.
  102. *Hand Massages-cutting,filing, and polishing nails
  103. Ask trivia questions
  104. games like tic tac toe, checkers
  105. Tai-Chi, Bean Bag Exercises
    seems to appeal to older people; birdfeeders of every kind, and make it a daily task to fill the feeders, supply the suet, and keep an eye out for old and new friends on the perches.
  107. E-MAIL Emailing friends and relatives you haven’t been in touch with
  108. reconnecting with friends they haven’t had much time for in the past.
    get together for weekly dinners or card games, monthly heater dates or classes. Old friends are great to reminisce with, but new friends offer an uncharted horizon full of possibilities.








Pacific Northwest Therapeutic Recreation Association
Idaho Health Care Activity Association






Kentucky Council of Activity and Social Services Professionals




New England Therapeutic Recreation Association
Massachusetts Council of Activity Professionals











Tennessee Association of Activity Professionals




Wyoming Activity Council Association


Study Guides
Alternative Solutions in Long Term Care, LLC provide resources and services for Health Care Professionals and Care Givers. Recreation Therapists, Activity Directors, Social Workers, Creative Arts Specialists, and other health care workers utilize this site to obtain information and purchase products for use in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Products and resources include sensory stimulation products, relaxation videos, party supplies, care plans, activity calendars, and more. For additional resources visit our associate site the Therapeutic Recreation Directory at To become certified in Dementia Care go to


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