Reality orientation activities for the elderly

Updated February 21, 2017

Reality orientation is a technique used by caregivers and family members of people who suffer from severe memory loss, such as patients with Alzheimer's Disease. This technique involves surrounding the patient with items and conversation intended to remind her of details of her reality such as the date, the weather and people she knows.

Reality Board

One tool in reality orientation is a reality board. This is usually a dry erase board hung on the wall of the patient's living space where the patient will see it often. Each day the caregiver and the patient write information on the board including the date, the day of the week and the weather. The patient is encouraged to remember and write as much of the information as possible.


An important part of reality orientation is conversation. A caregiver should speak to patients about what she is doing and why, even if there is little or no response from the patient. The caregiver should mention details about the date, the time and the location of the patient as often as possible during conversation.

Pictures, Clocks and Calendars

A patient undergoing reality orientation will have many items intended to jog his memory. Place pictures of friends and family throughout the patient's living space, and caregivers should comment on the pictures and use the names of the people in the pictures. Calendars and clocks should also be in the patient's living space, and caregivers should use these items to remind the patient of the date and time.

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About the Author

Mykal May has been writing professionally since 1992. She has published work in a number of print magazines including Brio and Pockets and for various Web sites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in writing and a Bachelor of Science in family relationships from Central Missouri State University.