Text -- 304-412-4065 Danny@DannyPettry.com

Rec Therapy Today received permission to share this manual with you here.

Dementia affects many aspects of one’s life, such as memory, behavior, feelings, and
even relationships with others (Alzheimer’s Association, 2020). Something that does not change
is the desire to feel valued, respected, and be a contributing member to one’s community. One
way to improve quality of life, reduce depression, and increase personal competence is to
socialize and engage with friends, family, and the community through meaningful experiences. It
is often difficult to find activities that are well-suited for those with dementia. This manual was
created in order to offer meaningful and enjoyable activities for persons with dementia. These
activities involve “reminiscing” or remembering past experiences. In hopes of developing the
most meaningful experiences, the activities included in this manual are based on crafts, games,
folklore, music, and other aspects of Appalachian culture.

Each activity listed in this manual contains a justification, estimated time it takes to
complete the activity, the estimated difficulty of the activity for adults with dementia, and a list
of the materials needed in order to complete the activity. The justification gives information
about what skills this activity will target for adults. The estimated time it takes to complete the
activity includes set up, delivery, and clean up. The estimated difficulty relates to how difficult
the activity is for the adult with dementia and the amount of assistance they may need from a
friend, caregiver, or activity director. Some of the materials listed for activities will be available
online to download or available at the back of this manual, those materials will be designated as

The activities in this manual will work best with individuals who grew up or spent many
years living in the Appalachian region of the United States (which includes all of West Virginia
and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). While this manual was created
with adults from Appalachia in mind, these activities are meant to be those enjoyed by friends
and family as well. They can be used in a group setting in long-term care facilities, and at home
with other family members.


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