Back to Blog

Father’s Day Activities to Engage Fathers With Dementia

Father’s Day Activities to Engage Fathers With Dementia

When holidays and momentous days such as Father's Day come up, it may be quite challenging for you and your children. Your father with dementia may fail to recognize your family and it can feel difficult to celebrate occassions together.

Dementia is characterized by a loss of memory and other mental functions. It can be particularly difficult if your father is among the 7% of seniors with this condition. Dementia can cause a variety of symptoms:

  • Memory, language, and judgment difficulties
  • Mood changes such as anger, depression, and anxiety
  • Changes in personality and conduct

Although you may not be able to celebrate like before, you shouldn't give up the idea of spending quality time with your dad. Dementia can make you feel like you are losing connection, but that doesn't have to be the case. Try these ideas for Father's Day activities.

Watching a Classic Film

Reminiscing is ideal for individuals with dementia because it activates connections in the brain. Revisiting an old movie with your dad this Father's Day can be very relaxing. It can also help them in recalling what they liked about the film in the first place.

You can easily find old movies and classic television shows on cable and satellite television or stream them online on Netflix or other platforms. Choosing a classic family movie you enjoyed with your dad back in the day can be an excellent way to onboard his grandchildren in the Father's Day celebrations.

Playing Board Games

Board games can provide an engaging, brain-challenging, and pleasurable pastime for senior dads with dementia. You can pick old board games you enjoyed with your dad in the past to bring up memories of playing decades ago. These memories are good for your dad's mental health.

It could be Chess, Backgammon, Monopoly, Scrabble, or Yahtzee. Anything that your dad is familiar with is simple to set up, and enjoyable would do for Father's Day activities.

Playing Cards

Card games can also be an enjoyable and engaging hobby for your father with dementia. This Father's Day, help your dad benefit from the social aspect of a game of hearts or cribbage. Your dad will also benefit from familiarity with games he played for decades.

Card games are simple enough to play with grandkids, making the Father's Day treat fun for everyone.

Coloring Books for Father's Day Activities

Adult coloring books are a popular trend that is also gaining traction as a dementia-friendly activity. In a creative context, coloring has a relaxing impact and engages the brain. Your dad can undertake this activity with his grandchildren. This can also remind you of the good old times when you would make him color with you as a child.

Going on a Road Trip

You may remember fighting in the back seat with your siblings and stopping at roadside sights on the way to your favorite vacation site when you were younger. Go on a day trip with your dad in your car this Father's Day. It could be to a specified destination or a picturesque afternoon drive.

Going out can relax him as he tries to reconnect with his surroundings. You can tune into his favorite music and grab a bite in a diner.

Find More Father’s Day Activities to Engage Fathers With Dementia

There are so many things to do with your dad on Father's Day, even if he has dementia. Try reliving childhood memories and pastimes with your father. He forgets what he had for breakfast, but his long-term memory might recall distant stories. Resurrect those long-forgotten memories in simple ways to remind him of his early years as a father.

If your father, doesn't respond to these activities, do not be discouraged. Navigating life with a loved one with dementia can be difficult and it's important to practice self-care and get suport from others. If your dad has been diagnosed with dementia or is showing symptoms, he may need a caregiver. You or any family member can get paid to care for him through family caregiving and NY State's Medicaid CDPAP.

Elite Choice can help you as a fiscal intermediary for the CDPAP program. Contact us for more information.

Written by: Leah Ganz
Director of Patient Services

Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.