When a loved one has Alzheimer’s, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the daily challenges of the disease: memory and communication issues, dressing, grooming, and nutrition. Your loved one is still in there, though. They still want to live a fun and socially connected life.
The hobbies they once enjoyed can still spark joy, and they may even cultivate new interests with a little help. So don’t allow the daily demands of Alzheimer’s caregiving to distract you from meeting your loved one’s emotional and social needs. Physical, mental, and social activity may even slow the progression of the disease, allowing your loved one to remain independent longer. Here are some great activities to do with a loved one with Alzheimer’s near Philly.
1. Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation Resources
The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation maintains a comprehensive guide to senior-friendly activities in the area, including a voucher program to give seniors access to fresh farmers market food. Join the annual Senior Strut and Health Fair in October, or participate in the annual senior games—a senior-friendly version of the Olympics. Outdoor lovers may relish the chance to stroll through one of Philly’s incredible parks or have a picnic. Washington Square tops every list of can’t-miss city parks. Check out Fairmont Park for plenty of walkable greenery and picnic spots.
2. Philadelphia Senior Center
Most seniors spend their days trying to adapt to a world designed for younger people. The Philadelphia Senior Center reverses this trend, offering a wide range of senior-friendly activities that seniors can do with family and loved ones. There are a wide range of regional and local trips, classes such as Tai Chi, and daily activities at the three Philadelphia locations.
3. Musical Performances
Research shows that music can reach seniors with dementia even when other stimuli can’t and that many seniors find relief from dementia-related anxiety when they listen to music. So take advantage of Philly’s incredible music scene. Guitar lovers will relish a day at the Classical Guitar Store. Take in a performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra or Opera Philadelphia. Or enjoy live folk performances at one of Philadelphia’s top acoustic venus, such as Boot & Saddle, Tin Angel, or Lansdowne Folk Club.
4. Plan a Museum Day
Seniors with early-stage dementia may still enjoy learning about cultural touch points and historical events, and even those with severe dementia can still get a lot out of a museum day. Walking, looking at exhibits, and talking about what you see can stimulate your loved one and help them feel less isolated.
Check out the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Constitution Center, the Franklin Mint Museum, or Valley Forge National Historical Park. For a living homage to Philadelphia’s natural beauty, check out Morris Arboretum at the University of Pennsylvania.
5. Spend Time With Animals
Animals can be therapeutic for people with dementia, offering companionship, relieving stress, and encouraging seniors to adopt healthier lifestyles. Try volunteering to walk dogs and play with cats at PAWS Philadelphia or Morris Animal Refuge. If your loved one prefers to observe animals, visit the Adventure Aquarium, which offers senior discounts to special events and movies. Or spend the day enjoying the interactive exhibits at the 42-acre Philadelphia Zoo.
The right senior living community offers a wide range of activities specially tailored to your loved one’s needs and abilities. The Arbor Company offers quality dementia care, daily activities, gourmet meals, and unparalleled caregiver support. Find a local Philadelphia dementia care community using our community locator.