Memory Cafe Activities for People with Dementia or Alzheimer's

Taylor Lamberta, creator of the Memory Cafe activities, riding an elephantBelow are complete Memory Cafe activities that were designed by Taylor Lamberta, LICSW (in MA and NY), and Caregiver Support Specialist. Besides starting a Memory Cafe, she also has ridden on an elephant in Thailand, ridden behind a dog sled in Alaska, swum with dolphins in Jamaica, and climbed Machu Picchu in Peru.

Feel free to use these activities at a Memory Cafe or at a family gathering. Click on each picture to reveal the contents of that particular activity. Once in an activity, click the back button to see all of the activities again. Some Memory Cafe's have free downloadable Bingo boards like the Garden and Luau Cafe's. Sign up for your newsletter to be notified when new content is online, and make sure you check back every month for new ideas and activities.

We do ask that you also share the Caregivers Matter app with your caregivers as well. The app helps build patience, perseverance, and peace in the caregiver. Instructions for downloading and using the app are available at this link.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

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A baseball-themed café. Click here for full details.

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game”—a baseball-themed café 

The "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" Cafe contains activities for a large or small group of people with dementia or Alzheimer's at a memory cafe, in an instutional setting, or at home with a small or large family consisting of people of all ages. 

Special Guest

Stacey (Noble) Minchello, Director of the Lynn Council on Aging who, in 1974, became the first female baseball (not softball) player for the Wyoma Little League. 

Supplies

Other supplies:

  • Table Supplies
  • Themed napkins and tablecloths

About Supplies:

Shopping links are provided by Amazon, which makes it easy to see the type of product that we are talking about. Clicking any of the links will take you to Amazon. Please note that the Caregiver Program collects fees from Amazon for referring users if they purchase there. We use 100% of these fees to fund our Caregiver Program, including this website and our caregiver apps. You also can purchase any of these products at local shops as well.

Snacks

We usually incorporate a themed snack whenever it is possible or if it applies.

This month featured:

We also had our regular spread which consists of:

  • Coffee, tea and water
  • Crackers, cheese, fruit, pastry

Consider the time of your café, and any safety and dietary restrictions that may apply to your particular group.

Music Playlists

You can play "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" karaoke if you would like to sing. In addition, here is a baseball music playlist.

Participation

Invite your guests to wear baseball attire or bring a baseball related item that they may want to discuss with the group.

Structure

Coffee, snacks and socializing.

During this time baseball related songs were playing and a slideshow of baseball pictures was shown on our IN2L machine.

Speaker story. We had a guest speaker recall her childhood experiences trying out for an all boy Little League Team. This staff member had a unique and interesting story to share. Maybe you know someone in the area who can share a story about baseball?

Guess the Peanuts. Putting peanuts in a large jar on the guests’ table, we asked them to guess how many peanuts were in the jar and write down the number they guessed. The answer was revealed at the end of the café and the winner won a small prize.

Baseball in film. We watched five short video clips that were related to baseball and played them on a projector screen using a laptop and YouTube. Videos we chose were the “Who’s on First” comedy bit by Abbot & Costello, a clip from the motion picture A League of Their Own, highlights of Ted Williams’s career, the history of Fenway Park, and a clip from the World Series win after the Red Sox broke “the curse.” After watching the videos, we asked our guests some questions such as: who had ever been to a ballgame, if anyone had ever caught a foul ball and who played baseball growing up etc.

Baseball Trivia. (You can make your own using your home teams by using the instructions below.) Using the IN2L program we played a few rounds of baseball trivia, choosing the option of 2 answers to choose from rather than the 4 answers that we felt might be too challenging. We had our guests answer as a group so as not to single anyone out. If you don't have access to an IN2L, then you can find some quiz questions here about your local baseball team (in our case, the Red Sox.) Simply take a few quizzes in HTML format, print them out, and then choose the easier questions. 

Baseball Corn Hole. We played bean bag toss with Red Sox corn hole boards and bean bags. Rather than play a full competitive game with all of the rules and score keeping, we simply set up two boards next to each other, gave guests all four bags, and instructed them to try their luck with getting it on the board or in the hole. Everyone participated in the activity, and some participants were interested in a second try. No one seemed frustrated or defeated when we simplified the task. It also helped to give a demonstration alongside the verbal instruction.

Baseball Picture Bingo. To wrap up our café, we played Baseball Picture Bingo. Each guest had a picture bingo board in front of them and I would call out the picture while also showing them a large print out of the picture. For example, if the word was Bat, I would hold up a large picture of a bat with the word underneath it and guests would scan their board to see if they had that square. If they had what I called out, they would put a chip down and the first person to get 5 squares in a row was the winner.

Downloads

Baseball Bingo. We did not create this baseball bingo game. However, some of our other Memory Cafe activities include bingo cards that we created, including the Flower, Luau, and Halloween Memory Cafe Activities for people with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Pictures and Video

Memory Cafe Baseball Table

Table with baseball pennants and coffee

Stacey (Noble) Minchello telling what it was like to be the first girl on a baseball team

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