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A lot of the country has been under stormy weather for the past few weeks. This tends to make people irritable. Sleepiness can cause sun downing, a symptom of mixing up days and nights for people with Alzheimer’s. Let’s think of some things we can do to fill the time.

Going back to our younger years, stomping in puddles was fun. Grab a pair of galoshes and head outside. If you don’t have any, tie garbage bags over your tennis shoes. Don’t be afraid to be silly. Grab some photos and put them in albums, we’ve needed to do that for a while now, anyway haven’t we? Pull out some cookbooks and come up with some soups, chili’s and stews to make and take a trip to the store to buy the ingredients. Buy those bread bowls and use them as stew bowls. How about making some cheese toasties and tomato or chicken noodle soup? Stir fry vegies and baked chicken or pork chops with apple sauce and fried potatoes can bring back memories. When was the last time you made homemade cookies? Toll house has the recipe right on the package. Pumpkins for pie are on sale right now at the store. Brownies are yummy this time of year!

Take a trip to Michaels craft stores and get some colorful leaves to decorate the front door, or make a wreath. Or take a walk around Hobby Lobby, lots to see there! Take your men out to Home Depot or a local Hardware store, just to look around or find a project. Men may also want to go out and seed the grass for next spring growth. Rake leaves and enjoy the exercise. That can easily lead to a nice hot shower after you been out in the rain.

Change out closets for summer to fall/winter clothes; it can be like shopping at a consignment store and fun to try on items to see if they fit. If they don’t, take a trip to Goodwill to drop off the clothes.

Try cutting pictures out of magazines to scrap book with, looking for the things that are important for your life. While you are cutting out pictures, cut some that can help label cabinets, doors, the toilet and so forth. Let’s make this process easier for our friends with diagnosis. Why not sit at the kitchen table and take videos talking about favorite memories. Start writing a journal with the person with memory loss. Have a nice cup of hot tea, coffee or chocolate while you are at it! Play music, sing and dance like no one is watching. Find moments of joy wherever you can! The point is we may be able to find something fun to do. Visit a craft show or farmer’s market. Something will fit the bill if you think about it hard enough!

Good luck my friends! Happy Fall!

]ill Lorentz is the President and Owner of Summit Resilience Training, Dementia Education for Caregivers. She is also the Host of KEZW Cruisin’1430am Dementia Resilience with Jill Lorentz which airs Sunday’s 10:00-10:30 am MST. Jill teaches families and professionals strategies and techniques which help them to feel understood and allows them to relieve stress so they can enjoy their lives while caregiving.