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Care Group Newsletters

What to Keep in Mind When Starting an Activity

Having an idea for an interesting activity for your loved one is an important first step toward getting them involved and engaged. It is not unexpected that at times they may be hesitant or unsure of what to expect when starting an activity, including activities they have performed many times in the past and would otherwise be very familiar with.

Here are some helpful tips on how to engage your loved one and encourage them to be open to the experience:

  • Avoid saying “Would you like to…” because the response may often be “No.” Instead say “Let’s…” or “I need some help with…” Example: “Let’s get these cards sorted so that we can play a game later.”
  • Ask them to help you when you introduce an activity or idea, and be sure to thank them for helping afterward
  • Avoid a lot of clutter, extra noise or too many instructions – setting up before an activity commences is key
  • Remember that your mood, energy and body language play a key role in communicating with your loved one
  • Keep requests simple, positive and inviting
  • Remember that what’s effective and enjoyable in one moment may not be in the next
  • Keep in mind that sometimes a little quiet time is good, too
  • Cue, encourage and reminisce together
  • Avoid just placing an activity in front of someone to get them started. Depending on the person, their stage of the disease or the familiarity of the task or activity, they may need some gentle instructions, reminders and encouragement
  • Make conversation about the topic
  • Offer choices, such as “Would you like…” or “Would you prefer…”

More information about meaningful activities and Montessori methods can be found on our Caregiver’s Corner website or on our YouTube page. Feel free to contact us at or 519-439-9336 for more information.

Dimensions Newsletter Summer 2023