​An Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis does not have to lead to an inactive lifestyle. Such life skill stations are actual activity stations used in some senior living community memory care units. 

A relatively new concept in activities for individuals with Alzheimer’s, the stations are designed to spark the memories of residents’ previous hobbies or work life. They may include laundry rooms equipped with clothing to fold, tool benches with harmless tools for fidgeting, or an office setting with a vintage typewriter.

They encourage residents to remain active as they practice daily routines and life skills that were previously part of their everyday lives. Activities like flower arranging, clipping coupons, knitting, vacuuming, or sorting items such as buttons or utensils are also encouraged through life skill stations.

A doll nursery is one station that provides a particularly meaningful activity for female residents. Complete with a crib, rocking chairs and baby dolls, it allows women to reconnect with their maternal instincts and memories of caring for their children.

In this way, life skill stations encourage residents’ minds to focus on experiences from earlier times in their lives, improving their demeanor as they gain a sense of purpose through the familiar activities.

Photos: The Cottage at Plantation South, Dunwoody, Ga., offers vanity, workbench, and doll nursery life skills stations, among other activities, for residents with dementia.