Once a senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of progressive dementia, everyday life can appear like a riddle to be figured out. Considering that there are varied stages of the disease, it’s common to come up with a variety of activities that are comforting and purposeful for the person in one stage, which can unexpectedly become less effective and even frustrating for the senior.
As the top providers of memory care services, we at Inspired Home Care have pulled together a few recommended suggestions to add to your dementia care tool kit:
- First and foremost, bear in mind that activities “with no right or wrong ” are often most rewarding. This can include anything that brings enjoyment simply through engagement, without a designated finished outcome or result.
- Also note that pastimes and interests the individual has previously enjoyed may now cause frustration or cause the senior to feel overwhelmed. Making adjustments can help. For example, if the senior was a gifted violinist who is now unable to play, he may find enjoyment in attending a concert or listening to favorite songs on an ipod.
- Stimulating activities are particularly effective in supplying opportunities for self-expression, social connectivity, and reduced anxiety and agitation. They can also offer a great occasion for reminiscing and stirring memories. We advise the following:
- Experiment with a variety of art mediums – water colors, clay, colored pencils, beads, etc.
- Put together a small garden box (or use a larger outdoor space if feasible) and allow the senior to dig in the dirt with a small trowel, plant seeds, and tend to the plants as they grow.
- Allow for opportunities for purposeful jobs around the home, according to the senior’s skill level and interest. Folding laundry, wiping off the table, sorting buttons, nuts and bolts, or silverware, sweeping the floor, etc.
- Pull together favorite family recipes and work together on preparing them; again, identifying tasks that are suitable for the senior: rolling out cookie dough, stirring together ingredients, and of course taste-testing!
- Reminisce over family pictures and videos.
Enjoying quality time with a senior loved one helps the family caregiver to slow down as well, and provides the opportunity to create fond new memories together.
For further activity suggestions for those with dementia, and to learn more about our highly specialized and personalized Barrington memory care services and the areas we serve, contact Inspired Home Care at 847-787-7572. Our care services allow family members to take time to care for their own needs. To view all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Locations Served page.