What are Activity Aprons and How Can They Help People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

People with Alzheimer’s and dementia suffer a lot physically and mentally. The family members of those affected with these debilitating diseases are also suffering emotionally, as many of those that have Alzheimer’s don’t remember the names of their loved ones, and they would even mistake different family members and friends as another person or a stranger. All in all, Alzheimer’s and dementia are two diseases that have devastating effects on the lives of those that have it and their loved ones.

While there is still no known cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia, there are different ways to prevent and slow down the symptoms of those diseases. One of the best ways to slow down dementia and Alzheimer’s is to keep the brain active and stimulated by doing different activities on various products, which include busy boards, fidget quilts, and activity aprons.

For this article, we will be focusing on activity aprons and their benefits for seniors. Without further ado, here are details about activity aprons and how they can help people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

What is an Activity Apron?

elderly people painting

The activity apron, also known as the fidget apron, is an item that looks like a normal apron used in the kitchen from afar but is actually a different type of apron because of the many decorations and items that are sewn onto it. These items that are sewn or glued onto the apron can serve as activities that seniors can do while they are sitting and the apron is on their lap.

The activities that are included in activity aprons vary, but they are usually puzzles, mazes, contraptions, and other items that can be played with or interacted with. There are also some activity aprons that have pockets that are useful for storing knitting or crocheting kits that can also be fun to use for many seniors.

A lot of activity aprons are DIY or do-it-yourself, which basically means that they are made by hand by the seniors or their loved ones. However, there are also activity aprons that are ready-made, and these ones are usually more durable and designed better. Your loved ones would love it if you made the activity apron yourself, but if you don’t have the time and the skills to create an activity apron, we highly recommend that you just get the ready-made ones online or in physical stores.

What are the Benefits of Activity Aprons?

elderly women wearing red aprons

Activity aprons are popular today because of the benefits that they provide to seniors. To know more, here are some pieces of info about the benefits of activity aprons.

Helps Retain Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination is one of the natural skills that deteriorates the fastest among seniors that have dementia and Alzheimer’s. In order to combat the deterioration, seniors would need to use the skills frequently by doing activities that involve the use of their hands and eyes, and these activities include playing and interacting with an activity apron.

Hand-eye coordination occurs when our eyes see something, and then they send signals to the brain through the nervous system, and the brain would then send signals to the nerves of the hands in order for our hands to grab, hold, or touch the object that our eyes see. While this process only takes a few microseconds for kids and adults, it takes a lot longer for seniors because their nerves are already deteriorating due to old age and the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To slow down the deterioration of the nerves, the brain should regularly be stimulated, and this is possible by playing with an activity apron and other items that provide activities for seniors to do. [1]

Gives the Hands a Little Bit of Exercise

Besides dementia and Alzheimer’s, a lot of elderly people suffer from arthritis, which is a condition where the joints of the hands and other parts of the body are swollen and painful. As we get older, the joints of our bones become weaker, which is why they are more prone to inflammation and swelling since they cannot heal or return to their original form quickly enough. The symptoms of arthritis worsen whenever seniors don’t use their hands regularly, and once they do, the joints would feel a lot more painful.

To avoid the painful symptoms of arthritis, seniors should regularly use their hands so that these body parts can get a little bit of exercise every day. The activity apron is a great item to have for seniors that want to use their hands regularly, as the activities they can play with on the apron are not stressful and are actually very calming. So, seniors wouldn’t have trouble giving their hands a bit of exercise, as the activities they will do with the activity apron are relaxing and hassle-free.

Can Help Ease Anxiety and Stress

a happy elderly man painting with an apron on

Anxiety, stress, and depression are common among seniors, as they would often feel alone and hopeless, especially when their bodies can no longer function efficiently when they are suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, and other diseases. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to prevent seniors from experiencing stress and anxiety, which can contribute to the worsening of dementia. 

One of the best ways to stress and anxiety prevention is by providing them with fun activities that will distract them from creating negative thoughts in their mind. The activity apron is a great item for seniors to get fun activities, but there are also busy boards, fidget quilts, and other fidget toys that are also fun and relaxing to play with.

And those are the best things you need to know about the activity apron, including what it actually is and its benefits to seniors that are battling dementia and Alzheimer’s. A great option for your elderly loved ones is to provide them with items that they can have fun with, and don’t forget to spend time with them by playing, talking, and just being around each other.

In addition to activity aprons, people with Alzheimer’s and dementia may also benefit from using weighted lap pads. If you are interested to learn more about these, check out our article What are Weighted Lap Pads and Their Benefits?


[1] Sauer, A. (2015, April 22). The Alzheimer’s Activity Apron. Alzheimer’s.net. Retrieved December 23, 2022, from https://www.alzheimers.net/4-22-15-alzheimers-activity-apron