Friday, March 25, 2016

Indoor Sports

Today it was rainy outside. I was hoping to take grandma to the park near the nursing home.  My friend and I wanted to do a physical activity with grandma. We wanted to get grandma to move and exercise. First we played a giant game of TIC TAC TOE with bean bags. (It belonged to my mom when she was a kid!)  Grandma enjoyed the game. Sometimes she forgot whether she was X or O, but it did not matter!  Next we played catch with a rubber ball. The ball is called a stress ball and it is easy to squeeze. Grandma was great! I could not believe how well she was able to catch the ball! We wheeled grandma to a different area where some of the residents were sitting. They seemed a little lonely. We asked them to play ball with us. "Gary" has dementia and thought I was his granddaughter. We laughed together and enjoyed ourselves! Next time I want grandma to kick the ball. Stay turned for our upcoming soccer game!


1. Pick an activity that you think the loved one can do.  (If they can not move their legs do something where they move their arms).
2. Do not worry about the rules. 
3. Encourage the loved one 
4. Do not play for too long of a time because the loved one might need a break!
5. Have fun! Smile!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Active Body Active Mind

My gym teacher says, "active body active mind."  That means if you do something with your body your mind will feel better, not just your body!  I like to take grandma to the park. We sometimes throw balls into the basket ball hoops. (I will try and find some pictures to show you). We also like to play tennis (our way) without a net or rules. We just like to hit the ball to each other. Grandma laughs and smiles when we do an activity.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

When The Caregiver Needs Caring!

Believe it or not, sometimes the person you are caring for can become the caregiver!  I have been sick lately, and do not want to eat very much. Grandma wants everyone to eat.  She is always worried that I do not eat enough.  When I am sick grandma gets very worried and upset.  Sometimes being sick around your loved one, can make them remember how they used to care for others.  Here is a picture of grandma feeding me soup. At first I am not anxious to do it, but grandma has such a sweet way of
getting you to eat that I took the spoonful. It made her so happy!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Going To The Movies

I like to take my grandma to the movies.  We have a lot of fun.  Yesterday we saw the movie: Zootopia. It is a Disney film that is animated.  We saw the 3D version, which means that you need to wear special 3D glasses. At first grandma did not want to wear the glasses because she already wears glasses. When she saw me wearing glasses, she wanted to be like me, so she finally put them on.  It was not a scary movie. If you want to take your loved one to the movies I have a few tips for you.

  1. Choose a movie that is fun. It may not be a good idea to pick a movie that is very scary, or very sad.  People with dementia may not understand that it is just movie and it may bother them
  2. Sit near the exit. The loved one may become impatient or loud or may want to leave the movie theater. If you have to leave during the movie, or take a break it won't disturb other people.
  3. Eat popcorn or other favorite snacks.
  4. Enjoy the time you have together!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Shopping With Your Loved One

If it is possible, take the person shopping with you!  My grandma loved going to department stores and sampling perfume and cosmetics.  My mom said smelling fragrances can remind someone with dementia of pleasant memories. Grandma's favorite perfume was: JOY.  We took my mom to Sephora and asked the salesperson for perfume samples. Grandma and I had so much fun! People with Alzheimer's disease could sometimes have trouble smelling things because the part of their brain that can smell is not working right. But if you give the person a big spritz of the perfume sample they should be able to smell it.


Take your loved one to the department store or cosmetics store (like Sephora). Get some free samples of perfume.  Spray the wrists of your loved one and ask them to tell you about the smell.

Here I am with grandma at Sephora.  Grandma loved smelling the different perfumes, but also loved kissing my hands!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Reader's Questions

I think it is a good idea to answer questions from kids.

Here is a question that a girl named Susan (age 9) asked me. 

"My great grandpa keeps asking the same thing over and over again. He always repeats himself. It drives me crazy. I feel bad but I don't know how to stop it?"

My advice: answer him, and then immediately change the subject. For example, let's say your grandpa wants to know what he is having for supper. Tell him, "we're having chicken and rice. Grandpa, look at the picture I drew today at school. Isn't it pretty. Can you draw a picture with me?
If anyone has an other ideas PLEASE share them!  Please ask any questions and we can all try to help come up with a good answer.


  1. answer the question
  2. immediately change the subject
  3. distract the loved one (show him/her something interesting, ask them to fold towels with you, stir the soup with you)
  4. Give them a hug
  5. Tell them you love them!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tips For Puzzle-Solving With Dementia Patients

Here is my post from: Puzzles To Remember (

Today, grandma and I solved puzzles with another resident. This senior, “Mr. Lee” does not have a family that visits him. I feel sad for him. He also does not speak English.  But I still was able to make him smile and feel good.
I wheeled grandma near Mr. Lee. I handed him a puzzle piece and pointed to the puzzle.  At first he was not sure what I wanted him to do. But after a while he participated!  Grandma, Mr. Lee and I enjoyed ourselves.  Even the nurses were smiling and watching us solve the puzzles.  Some seniors with dementia can solve puzzles by themselves. Grandma needs my help and Mr. Lee needed some assistance.

Tips For Puzzle-Solving With Dementia Patients
  1. Try to let the seniors do it themselves
  2. Ask the person, “Where do you think we should put the puzzle piece?
  3. Say, “Do you think we should put it here?
  4. Say what you are doing, “ I am putting the puzzle piece here…"
  5. If they are not able to do it, than point to where they should put the puzzle piece
  6. Smile

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Should Children Go To the Hospital to Visit A Loved One?

I want to talk about whether kids should go to the hospital to visit their loved one.  My grandma was in and out of the hospital at least 10 times in the past 4 years (maybe more, I lost count!)

Mom and dad were not sure if it would be a good idea if I visited grandma.  They asked many people for advice.  Finally, they decided to ask me!  I really wanted to see grandma. One time grandma had a subdural hematoma (that means bleeding in the brain) she couldn't talk but she smiled so much when she saw me. I was very scared about her being in the hospital and wanted to see for myself how she is doing.  Here is my advice about whether kids should go to the hospital.

  1. Children under the age of 5 should not go to the hospital. It could be too scary!
  2. Ask the kid what they would like to do. Some kids WANT to go, others do NOT
  3. If the loved one is in pain and could be moaning or something, it's not a good idea to go
  4. If the loved one has something contagious (like the flu) kids should not visit
  5. Find the Child Life Specialist at the hospital. You can do arts and crafts with him/her!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

kids who care

Kids of all ages have been caring for their love ones 
 and each day they are making a difference.
Here is my mom caring for her mother!

Books for kids

Books can help kids. My friend Max Wallack (the person who created Puzzles to Remember: and his junior high school teacher, Carolyn Given, wrote a book for kids who have a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. The name of the book is:
 He got ideas for the book from stories about me and my grandma. He also got ideas for the book from things that happened with his great grandma.  It is such a good book!  Alzheimer's disease is not fun or happy. It can be scary and sad. But the authors help kids know that there are things that you can do to make it better. He also explains why the disease happens, and draws pictures of neurons in the brain!

My parents took a video of me reading the book. Here is a link to the video (It is on youtube)


  1. Go to the library and ask the the librarian for books to help you understand what is happening with the person you love
  2. Think about writing a book yourself!  All you need are: characters, a setting, a problem and a solution.  The characters could be you and your family member( you can give them fake names). The setting can be where you live, the problem (the reason why you have to care for the loved one) and the solution: how you fix the problem.  I learned about these parts of books from my teacher at school and my mom who is also a teacher!
A reader of my blog suggested the book: Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge  by Mem Fox  I read the story on the website:  It is sweet story about a woman in a nursing home losing her memory.

What books do you recommend?  Please share any books that you have read that have helped you.