The way the ball bounces

Sitting on the floor playing ‘roll-the-ball’ with my little granddaughters, I realized the fun of playing with a ball is an activity that has really stood the test of time.

When my Mama lived with us she was in around the mid to late stage of dementia. One day she and I were in the living room visiting. Mama was sitting on the couch and I was sitting on my exercise ball–I’ve heard some actually use them for exercise, but mine is predominantly used as a chair.  She seemed particularly alert and focused that day, so I decided to see if she would be able to play a little two-square.

I stood up, got her attention and gently bounced the ball her way. She caught it. The look on her face was a mixture of surprise and delight. Since she was in a good place, at that moment, she bounced it back to me. We had a blast bouncing the ball back and forth for about 20 minutes. I could tell she was tiring of the game when she quit returning the ball.

We played that game on a regular basis while Mama lived with us. It was fun to have an activity we could do together. On a real good day, when she was really ‘clicking’ I would even bounce the ball a bit off of center to see if she could adjust –which she usually did quite well.

Even if someone does not have the strength to bounce a ball, a balloon can be just as fun. For a group,  ‘balloon’ volleyball can be delightful—even batting it in the air by using a pool noodle can be enjoyed by many. Anything that bounces or can be bopped or rolled never seems to go out of style, and can play a part in the joy of life no matter what the age or ability.

What activities do you find that your loved one particularly enjoys?

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