Engaging Activities for Dementia Patients
November 06 2020
Engaging Activities for Dementia Patients
As we grow older, our memories can fail us, and our physical bodies may wear us down. This challenge is even doubled for people with dementia. Dementia is not necessarily a disease, but a progressive set of symptoms that diminishes a person’s cognitive functioning, including essential abilities such as remembering, thinking, and reasoning.
It is said to be progressive for its ability to intensify its impact on a patient’s life through the course of time. People diagnosed with dementia need extra support and a special approach to companionship.
To care for our loved ones with dementia, we have to establish a lifestyle and an environment that is conducive for them to thrive in and regain a sense of self-purpose. It is also part of our responsibility to help them sustain an active lifestyle by initiating meaningful activities for seniors with dementia.
In this guide, we will discuss what life is like for people with dementia, and how we can genuinely help and support them. In doing so, we will also suggest a list of activities for people with dementia that can help them maintain a routine and feel a sense of fulfillment.
Choose activities that are:
- Familiar with your loved ones. You can use their prior interests and hobbies as a guide. This can ensure that they can successfully do the activity and enjoy it.
- Repetitive and that use similar actions over time. Routine and repetitiveness are strong suits for people with dementia and can help them cope through forgetfulness.
- Simple and that do not demean the patients with shortcomings. Make sure that the activities are easily achieved so that the patients will not feel inadequate, but rather accomplished once the task is finished.
Activities That You Can Do With Your Loved One
There are so many ways we can bond with our elderly loved ones with dementia with activities that are totally free.
Household activities for elderly with dementia are extremely helpful in building a routine that they can easily follow, and in enabling them to gain a sense of fulfillment after finishing their task. These kinds of activities help them feel like they are still useful, hence gaining more sense of self-worth.
Here are some household activities for senior citizens with dementia, or even patients of any age:
- Folding the laundry
- Dusting furniture
- Helping in cooking
- Sweeping the floor
- Setting the table
- Helping in untying knots
Sometimes you still have to correct the patients when they are not looking in any of these indoor activities. Just remember that their work does not have to be perfect. They just need to feel helpful and involved.
Recreational Activities for Older Adults With Dementia
Providing activities that stimulate creative expression from patients is not only beneficial but also fun for them. It is important that there are activities tailored to their talents and abilities to make them feel confident. Knowing the hobbies of patients is good information to personalize activities.
Patients’ Likes and Hobbies
Do activities that resonate with what the patients used to like. For example, if the elderly used to dance back in the day, turn up some music and offer them your hand to dance. Doing what they really love is a great way to make them happy and help them cope with dementia.
Promoting Visual Expression
These creative activities can allow our loved ones to express their feelings and thoughts into visual images. You can have them draw or paint with bright colors in wide canvasses or paper, so they do not stress over cramped spaces.
Making a Collage of Reminiscing Photos
Reminiscing is one of the strongest points dementia patients can do, making it a productive activity for Alzheimer’s patients at home.
They are more able to recall distant memories than recent ones. You can help them compile, cut out, and paste pictures that hold sweet memories with them to make a collage. This relaxing activity can help them with their memory and make them feel loved throughout their lifetime.
Encouraging Sensory Activities Through Crafts
Activities connected to our sensory processes can help counter cognitive decline. You can have them play with clay or malleable play-dough and create familiar shapes and imitations of objects.
Interactive Activities for Patients With Dementia
Interactive activities require close interaction between the caregiver and patients. This can be done through games that do not demand a lot of psychomotor and cognitive functioning. Such light-hearted games can help them stay active and even have fun.
This game is recommended in medium to small groups. Have the patients sit around a circular table. Provide them with toy sticks or toy swords that they will use to toss the balloon to one another. This is a low-intensity activity that can help with the reaction time and vision of patients.
Four-Faced Puzzle Cube
This is a simple colored Rubrik’s cube that provides no-pressure fun for seniors who like to fidget with objects. The main objective of this game is not necessary to complete the puzzle, but just provide something that the patients can tweak. They can simply enjoy creating different color combinations with the cube.
Pattern Boards and Blocks
This simple puzzle game can help patients identify a variety of shapes. They can also make free-form shapes using the blocks.
Importance of Meaningful Activities to People With Dementia
Having these kinds of activities can help your loved ones in many ways:
Making Them Feel Involved
Being aware of their condition makes most patients feel inadequate and irrelevant to their immediate families. Involving them in everyday activities increases their self-worth and helps them regain a sense of usefulness inside their households.
Self-purpose and Accomplishment
This is somewhat related to the previously mentioned. It is important to provide them avenues where they can feel triumphant for the outputs that they have done and skills that they have showcased. It inculcates a sense of self-purpose and accomplishment, which are crucial but can be lacking for most people who are past their golden age.
Improved Muscle Strength
Studies have found that improved muscle strength on the arms and legs can lessen the recurrence of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Exercising is also generally beneficial for all.
Having a Routine
Having a predictable and easy to follow routine can help patients with dementia to be less distracted and forgetful of what they should be doing. The purpose of the routine is to create pre-determined activities that can make them occupied for the rest of the day.
Life as Experienced by Patients With Dementia
While implementing activities with patients who have dementia, it is ideal that we empathize with them by knowing their perspective given their situations. Their condition resulted in some behavioral patterns that may be difficult for others to deal with.
Symptoms of dementia can inflict confusion, loss of memory, and judgment lapses for patients. Hence, it can also make them distracted and forgetful of the normal activities that they used to do.
From cognitive decline, patients face difficulties in expressing their thoughts using the right words. Over time, this results in abrupt changes in their moods that can also lead to dramatic personality changes.
Difficulty Adapting to Change
Patients’ struggle with memory loss and forgetfulness incapacitates them from adapting to change. It is important that they set a predictable routine that is easy to remember, and to follow, in order to address this.
What We Can Do At All American Home Care
The best care for your loved ones is already at the end of your fingertips when you contact us and inquire to one of our representatives today.
Here at All American Care, we can give you great and helpful support either as a client or a home care. As clients, we provide 24/7 home care services and many more to ensure that our elder loved ones are being taken care of and paid close attention to. We also produce seasoned and expert caregivers who truly know how to care for our patients.
We also provide Home Care Waivers for dementia patients – or patients diagnosed with any condition that requires long-term services but wish to remain in their homes. Palliative Care and Hospices are also our specialties that guarantee the overall wellbeing and improved quality of life of our patients.