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Activities to Keep Senior Hands Busy

Sun, Aug 06, 2017 at 6:45PM

Activities to Keep Senior Hands Busy



While some people tend to have fidgety hands, this is especially true for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. You may notice movements such as rubbing hands, twisting fingers, or picking at fabrics. Fidgety hands may be a way of expressing anxiety or frustration. Here are some safe, hands-on activities to provide the comfort they need and keep those hands moving.


Create a Busy Box

Fill a box or basket with a variety of sensory objects. Choose objects that have different shapes, textures, and colors. Look for things that are fun and move in interesting ways such as a colorful slinky, fidget spinners, stress balls, liquid or sand timers, spiky balls, and wind-up toys. Throw in soft items such as feathers, small stuffed animals, and fabric pieces too. Other items include objects with zippers, buttons, Velcro, or things you have laying around the house such as an old collection of keys on a key-ring, beanbags, or large bead bracelets. Avoid anything sharp, with long strings, or with small pieces.

Help with Chores

Find household chores that involve sorting, folding, or organizing. Start with laundry, sock sorting and towel folding. Grab the stack of junk mail, weekly store ads, coupons, magazines, and paperwork that needs to be filed and have them organize into piles. Dump out the junk drawer have them sort like items. Wash shoelaces then ask your loved one to lace the shoes again. Grab a pile of sweaters that need to be buttoned up and folded. Gather pencils that need sharpened or paperclips to link together. Mix up silverware and sort into trays. Head outdoors, work together to sweep the porch, wash windows, and water plants. Dump out your purse and ask your loved one to sort items and put coins in a jar. Get creative- there is always something to get done around the house!

Take up a Hobby

Look for simple crafting activities that involve repetitive movements such as knitting, crocheting, stringing wooden beads, and coloring. Games such as dominoes, crosswords, decks of cards, and puzzles also can keep hands busy. Seniors can sort cards and poker chips as well. If your senior loved one is musically inclined, a small keyboard or xylophone may be a great option too.  


Engaging our seniors with fun, hands-on activities can be an outlet for agitation and  provide the calming stimulation they need.


Stayed tuned to the County Health Care Guide Blog to learn more about assisted-living, senior care, senior placement, and important senior news in Volusia County. From Daytona to Port Orange to New Smyrna Beach, the County Health Care Guide is the only resource you need.

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