Keep Reading (Below Activities) for Information on Living with Dementia During COVID-19

Staying Engaged While Social Distancing

In an effort to make your day a little brighter, we’ve started collecting activity ideas to do at home and are posting them on our website and Facebook page. We’re aiming for activities that will stimulate discussion, encourage reminiscing, get you moving, or simply bring joy. From links to concerts, museum tours or live dance classes; to directions for craft projects, instructions for memory boxes or conversation prompts, we hope to add some fun to your day.

Check back regularly for new ideas. Enjoy!

Bobbi, Lisa, Janeli and Natalie


A Kaleidoscope of Orchids

Enjoy this 21-minute virtual tour of the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show. The tour features spectacular colors, soothing music and explanations from the Garden’s senior orchid curator. It’s really gorgeous!


Get Out Your Dancing Shoes

Check out these “Dance for PD” classes for free online though the Mark Morris Dance Company. While designed for people with Parkinson’s, the movements are gentle, easy to follow and accompanied by lovely music — a treat that anyone can enjoy. Scroll down to the archive and start with the “intro taster class.” Thanks for the recommendation Jessica Shurer, LCSW! 
activities for alzheimer’s
Photo Credit: DailyCaring.com

Create a Memory Box

A memory or rummage box can help your older adult feel connected to their past career and previous hobbies.

Get any kind of box and fill it with things they would have used at work, copies of photos and non-important keepsakes, or objects from hobbies.

For example, for a former office worker, create a box that reminds them of their career. Include paper clips, pencils, erasers, paper, letters (junk mail), a calculator, file folders, notepads, etc. in the box.

If the person used to do handy work, put nuts, bolts, pvc pipe pieces and fittings, a piece of wood (no splinters), fine grit sandpaper, and twine in their box. 

Someone who enjoyed cooking or baking might enjoy measuring spoons, a whisk, a spatula, and other related items.

This can work for any type of job or hobby, just be creative about finding objects that will be safe to handle.

From: https://dailycaring.com/activities-for-people-with-dementia-10-fun-no-fail-ideas/

To learn more about the benefits of memory boxes, along with tips for making them, read this article.


A Real-Time Look at the Cherry Blossoms in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C.’s cherry blossoms signal the arrival of spring and symbolize hope, renewal and friendship.” This year, you can enjoy the pink and white blossoms from the comfort and safety of your home. Simply click here on Bloomcam Live for a real-time view of the trees during their peak blooms. And if you want to read about the fascinating history of the Cherry Trees, originating as a gift from Japan to the United States in 1912, check out this National Park Service page. 

Living With Dementia During COVID-19

Cathleen Colón-Emeric, MD, chief of Duke’s Division of Geriatrics offers advice about important conversations and practical strategies for supporting older family members during COVID-19. And check out the side-bar for some suggestions for activities from our team.
PPA (Primary Progressive Aphasia) makes it tough to understand and express questions or fears about COVID-19. Dr. Mesulam from Northwestern and AFTD (Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration) suggests brief strategies and resources for families to ease communication.
Disruptions in routines and the need for hands-on care are among the special challenges for dementia patients and their caregivers. 

Duke Dementia Family Support Program


We’re still here for you! Our team is working from home to offer education, consultation and support. So don’t hesitate to contact us by email or phone.

All of our support groups, with the exception of Memory Makers, are meeting using Zoom, where participants can connect by video or telephone on a smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC. We will email support group participants with details about meetings, including directions for using Zoom and increased frequency of monthly meetings. If you have not previously participated in a support group, but are interested in joining now, please contact the appropriate staff member listed below.


Grey Stone (Care Partner and Person Living with Dementia) Group: Lisa Gwyther – 919-660-7508

Daughters Group: Bobbi Matchar – 919-660-7509

Younger-Onset Group: Janeli McNeal – 919-660-7565

Evening Group: Natalie Leary – 919-660-7542


While it’s preferred to meet face-to-face, we are grateful that technology allows us to continue to connect with each other.

Stay Well,

Bobbi, Lisa, Janeli & Natalie

The Duke Dementia Family Support Program is…

Your source for help with Alzheimer’s, memory disorders, and elder care decisions. The Duke Dementia Family Support Program serves families and professionals concerned about or caring for persons with memory disorders in North Carolina, and Duke employees seeking help with elder care decisions.