One of the hardest parts of caring for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is trying to connect in a meaningful way – especially on the hard days. Some days you may feel like nothing you say or do is getting through but you want to find some way – any way – to bond. While there is no surefire answer, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones.
Take a look at these five suggestions for connection with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s, at all stages:


There’s just something about getting your hands dirty that really connects you with nature and it can prove a therapeutic, bonding experience for you and your loved one. Long-term gardening also has memory components involved that include planting, nurturing, and harvesting plants. Having something to cultivate can give Alzheimer’s patients confidence, even if they forget about watering a day or two, and gardening provides an opportunity for loved ones to work alongside the patients and reap the same mental and health benefits.

Flip through Photo Albums

Dust off the family scrapbooks and photo books with your loved one. Give him or her the chance to tell you stories about the photos and the people and places in them. If there is someone or something the person does not remember, remind them of the details by telling the story yourself. Alzheimer’s patients like familiarity so take trips down memory lane whenever you can. You may even learn a few new family stories you’ve never heard in the past.

Play Bingo

There are proven health benefits of playing bingo – from the increased concentration, to enhanced memory strength, to opportunities for socialization, to reduced stress. The premise of the game is simple enough that people suffering dementia can still play along with some assistance from caregivers or loved ones. Bingo halls or churches/community centers that host bingo nights may also be comfortable places for people who have happy memories from similar places. It’s a game both you and your loved one can enjoy together while improving mental acuity.


Even if you aren’t going anywhere fast, walking with your loved one is a great way to get some physical exercise and some fresh air too. Put your mobile phone away and be accessible for conversation during the walk. If you are able to make it routine thing, at the same time and on the same days every week, it will help your loved one get even more comfortable with the activity.


There’s a reason that adult coloring books are all the rage – they stimulate creative parts of the brain while providing guided stress relief. A person having a tough day remembering things or finding motivation to do much else can sit and color without a ton of effort. To make the most of this activity, sit down with separate coloring books and do it together. Even if you are silent during the process, it gives both you and your loved one a safe place to enjoy just focusing on the task at hand and being together.

If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, how do you make meaningful connections?

Author's Bio: 

Nikki Jones writes about health and wellbeing in her spare time and you will often find her researching new techniques and trends. Her philosophy is to live life as mindfully as possible.