Dementia is a progressive disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. The most common cause is Alzheimer’s disease, but there are other diseases that lead to Dementia as well. When your loved one has Dementia, you may find that many once simple activities are now much more challenging.
It can also be very difficult to find ways to keep them engaged and stimulated. You do not want to overwhelm your loved ones, nor do you want to leave them without anything to do. By introducing new activities and different ways of doing the ones they already enjoy, you will be helping your loved one stay engaged and stimulated for as long as possible. This article is intended for anyone trying to come up with new things their loved ones can do when suffering from Dementia.
The Benefits of Meaningful Activities for Dementia Patients
Meaningful activities are activities that your loved one can actively participate in. It doesn’t have to mean that the activity is complicated. It just has to be something that they are able to do for a period of time, and then when finished, they are left with a sense of completion. These activities are the same as those you might use with a young child in many ways.
There are many benefits to doing meaningful things for your loved one with Dementia. For one, it can be very beneficial for your loved one’s mental health. When they feel like they have an important role within the family, it helps them feel more connected and less isolated.
Here are other benefits of meaningful activities for Dementia patients:
- It can help your loved one feel less stressed – Meaningful activities can be a great way to relieve stress. It helps your loved ones focus on something they can do in the present moment, rather than being focused on the past or future.
- A sense of purpose – Meaningful activities can be a great way to boost your loved one’s self-esteem. It allows them to feel like they have an important role in the family, and it reduces feelings of loneliness.
- It helps reduce anxiety and depression – An important cause of Dementia is depression, which is brought on by the disease itself. For your loved ones, an activity can reduce feelings of despair and isolation so that they are able to stay engaged in their own lives for as long as possible.
- It helps relieve boredom – Many Dementia patients become very frustrated because they can’t remember things. It means that they quickly run out of things to talk about and can become bored with others’ conversations and topics. An activity is a great way for them to stay engaged with others and have something to focus on.
- It can help your loved one socialize with others – As your loved one’s condition progresses, they may find it more difficult to interact with others. You can help them by introducing them to others with similar interests with activities. It is a great way for them to gain a sense of belonging.
How to Choose Activities for Dementia Patients?
There are many activities that will be good for your loved ones, it all depends on what they enjoy. Think about the things they used to enjoy doing, even if they seemed trivial. Sometimes small things can bring happiness to those who have Dementia. For example, if someone always loved going to the park, you could go at least once a week and spend time together while sitting on a bench. The simple pleasure of time spent in nature can bring happiness and comfort to those with Dementia.
You can also try to find new activities that you think your loved one would enjoy. It may be difficult to try and get your loved one to do activities they have no interest in, so you should focus on those they may enjoy. It can take some time, but if you can find things that they enjoy doing, it will only bring more happiness and comfort when spending time with them. If you are unsure what types of activities are best, you can try a few different ones or pick activities out of the list we offer below.
Activities For Seniors with Dementia: 10 Amazing Ideas to Keep Them Stimulated
We at Wellness Home Care Services have come up with ten amazing ways that you can keep your loved ones engaged and stimulated. These activities will help them be engaged and stimulated, but they will also give them a sense of purpose and importance in the family.
Here are the ten ideas:
One of the simplest things to do is let your loved one paint. It allows them to feel connected with the world around them and create something new that they can look at as a memory later on. Many art stores have classes for people with Dementia. If your loved one can still hold a paintbrush with ease, you should look into this option.
2. Try knitting or crochet
Knitting and crocheting are just as enjoyable as painting, but they allow your loved ones to practice their hands and creative abilities. It can be somewhat therapeutic for them, and it is also good for their dexterity. If you want to give your loved one something to do with a little more purpose than painting, try learning how to knit or crochet.
3. Fold laundry
Folding laundry is another simple activity that can occupy some of your loved one’s energy. It is great because seniors will get some of the physical activity they require. It also allows them to keep busy and engaged in something pleasant.
4. Untie knots
There are many knots that can be connected, such as those for hammocks, parasols, and slingshots. Your loved one may enjoy untying these knots and freeing them from the things they are attached to. It can be very exciting for someone with Dementia to feel like they are undoing a big problem or challenge.
5. Do a puzzle
Many people with Dementia can still complete a puzzle, even when most of their cognitive abilities are taken away. For this reason, it is a fantastic way for them to feel proud about something and bring back some of their old memories. Puzzles can be very interesting, especially those more complex and difficult.
If you want your loved ones to be engaged, try scrapbooking with them. It can be a great way for them to focus on the present rather than worrying about the past. For anyone with Dementia, it is good to have things from their past that they can look back on and not feel so lost in time. For those who enjoy their hobbies, scrapbooking is a great way to pass the time and feel like they are doing something productive.
7. Prepare food
People with Dementia may not be as keen on cooking as they used to, but it is still a good idea to cook and prepare food. It can be very therapeutic for them to cook and eat it themselves, especially if they offer the meals in the kitchen for others to enjoy. It can help fight off depression and even be a great way to take care of their health. Just make sure to be there with them whenever the would ask, and they will feel more comfortable.
8. Playing card games
Many people with Dementia can still play card games just like they used to when they were younger. It is a simple but fun thing to do together. A person with early Dementia might enjoy easy card games like go fish, solitaire, war, or blackjack. A senior in later stages might enjoy shuffling the cards or separating them by color. Pay attention to their enjoyment level. If they seem overwhelmed, you may remove some of the cards, so they don’t have to manage so many.
Gardening will give your loved ones a sense of accomplishment and productivity that they may not have had before. If they enjoy being outside and working hard, you should consider this option. It will be beneficial to them physically, mentally, and emotionally.
10. Reminiscing Activities
Reminiscing is something that everyone does. Whether pictures or looking at old items, people love to remember the past and what it was like growing up. For those with Dementia, reminiscing can be a wonderful way to bring back old memories and feelings. It can help them feel closer to you and happier when those around them are remembering them.
There you have it! Those are ten activities for seniors with Dementia that can keep them entertained and engaged in new ways. These activities will help them enjoy themselves and stimulate their minds and keep things from getting boring.
If you are interested in providing more care for your loved ones with Dementia, you should consider hiring a personal care assistant from Wellness Home Care Services. We not only provide excellent dementia care, but our caregivers can also provide many other types of senior care services. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more information about how we can help your loved one or family member’s experience with Dementia. We offer free consultations to see if we would be a good fit for each other.