What is it that gets you out of bed every day? Most of us have a long list of to-dos that drives us to start the day. As much as we might wish we could keep hitting the snooze button, having a feeling of purpose is imperative to our health and wellbeing. That’s true for a person with dementia too.
When caring for a loved one with dementia, it’s natural to want to do whatever you can for the person. While the motives behind that line of thought are to help make life better and simpler, it could have the exact opposite impact. It’s essential to empower the person to keep doing tasks and engage in purposeful activities, even if it means a bit of extra time and patience from you.
What Are Some Engaging Activities for Loved Ones With Dementia
There are a number of engaging activities for loved ones with dementia. It starts with activities of everyday living, the things we barely think twice about: taking a bath or shower, getting dressed, preparing and eating meals. But imagine having these daily tasks completely taken over by another person. How might it change the way you view yourself?
With some modifications and support, a loved one in the early and middle stages of dementia can still accomplish these activities. For instance, if:
- Removing the toothpaste cap and squeezing the right amount onto the toothbrush is challenging, take care of that step for the person, leaving the toothbrush on the side of the sink so they are able to brush independently.
- Buttons and zippers are cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled off and on more easily.
- Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is no longer possible, think through which steps the person can still accomplish: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
In addition, you’ll want to be sure there are a variety of fun and engaging activities for the person to enjoy throughout the day as well. Base these activities on their current and/or past hobbies and interests. Consider:
- Taking a regular walk around the block or even in the yard, enjoying nature and talking with neighbors
- Sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders
- Ability-appropriate games and puzzles
- Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if required
- Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together, or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
The dementia care experts at Inspired Home Care are trained in creative approaches that make each day the very best it can be. Contact us at 847-787-7572 to learn more about how our dementia care services in Palatine, Barrington, Lake Zurich, and the surrounding communities can improve life for someone you love.