Thursday, October 11, 2012

Election activity for those with dementia



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People with mild Alzheimer’s disease or are in the early stages certainly have the right to vote. They can read about the candidates in the newspaper and watch TV to further learn about the people running and the issues at hand. They may need a reminder to vote or they may need to have someone get an absentee ballot for them.

What about those Alzheimer’s and dementia folks who have a more severe form of these diseases. Even though it is not practical for them to vote in the real election, they can take part in some pre election activities.

Please note that there are some with advancing Alzheimer’s or dementia that are very clear about who they want to vote for. These folks should be allowed to exercise their right to vote.

They may only vote for one candidate or issue. That is OK.

Back to those who are not able to vote in the standard election. Here are some ideas that will make them feel like part of the process and exercise their brain at the same time.

First you can recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” together.

 Next you can start by singing some patriotic songs. Songs might include: “The Star Spangled Banner”, “America”, “America the Beautiful”, “God Bless America”, “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and any others they may enjoy.

You can have them name as many titles as they can. To make it easier, you can say some of the words in the title and let them supply the missing words.

Some patriotic songs lend themselves to marching. I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy and Yankee Doodle went to Town, are ideal for marching around the room or marching in place. Not only is this fun and patriotic, but it is also good exercise.

Next you might want to try easy presidential or election trivia. Here are some sample questions.
Who was the first president of the United States?
Which president cut down the cherry tree?
Which president was the father of our country?
Which president freed the slaves?
Which president was called, ”Honest Abe”?
Which president said “Ask not what your country can do for you? Ask what you can do for your country?”
This question lends itself do a discussion about things persons can do for their country.
Which party starts with the letter D?
Which  party’s symbol is a donkey?
Which party starts with the letter R?
Which party’s symbol is an elephant?
What month is the presidential election?
Every how many years do we vote for president?
Which candidate is the democratic candidate for president?
His first name is Barack.
Who is the Republican candidate president?
His last name is Romney?
Who is the Democratic candidate for vice president?
His last name is Biden
Who is the Republican candidate for vice president?
You can ask the same type of questions for local election candidates.
Name two presidents that had the same last name.
Hint: Adams, Roosevelt
Who was the oldest president?
How long is a presidential term?
How many terms can a president be elected for?


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