08 Apr 8 Great Activities to Engage Dementia Patients at Home
Incorporate stimulating and fun activities for senior loved ones with dementia and Alzheimer’s
April 7, 2020
A common challenge that caregivers face is finding stimulating and engaging activities for seniors that have dementia. By promoting engagement, connection, and communication, you can help adults living with dementia enjoy a greater quality of life.
There are a variety of activities that research shows can be enjoyable and helpful for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The advantages of these activities are chances for self-expression, increased emotional and social connections with others, stress relief, engagement with daily life, and the opportunity to evoke memories moments of clarity.
Consider these 8 activities for engaging dementia patients at home.
Listening to music
Music therapy has been demonstrated to aid in reducing agitation and depression. It also improves quality of life overall. Every day, take time to play your loved one’s favorite music for them. This can ignite fond memories in them.
Gardening is a great activity for those with dementia and all seniors residing at home. It can help alleviate stress, improve communication, and support cognitive abilities. Depending on the environment, you can do it in a safe place, including both indoors and outdoors. The activity itself can help provide purpose to seniors with Alzheimer’s, and is a good way to add in physical activity to promote better overall health. Keep in mind that gardening may not be appropriate for all stages of dementia, so consider their individual circumstances and situation before proceeding.
Participating in household chores
Motivate your loved one to assist you in cleaning, folding laundry, sweeping, and other daily household chores as an engaging activity. Often, those with dementia take pride in completing tasks, regardless of their complexity. This can also promote life skills and possibly continue to facilitate some independence.
Play computer games
Keeping an active mind through games can be particularly important for seniors. As you get older, you are more prone to issues that impact your physical health and your emotional well being. Many computer games can be engaging and appropriate for those with dementia. The right games can encourage agility and offer tons of fun. Plus, computer games can help stimulate your loved one’s mind. It’s a win-win to play games that can add vitality and happiness into the lives of seniors while also enhancing brain function.
Complete a puzzle
Putting together jigsaw puzzles is a great way to fortify problem-solving skills. Puzzles are also a fun way that individuals with dementia, children, and their caregivers can enjoy socially or by yourself. In addition to being an easy group activity, puzzles can also help strengthen motor functions. As dementia progresses, make sure that the puzzles become simpler and with fewer pieces.
Reading is stimulating while also light on the brain. That makes it a great home activity for dementia patients. Regardless of the type of book or genre, shorter stories are usually better than longer ones. Tales that connect with the past are an excellent way to engage long-term memory.
Seniors relish sharing their most loving memories. Whether admiring nostalgic relics of the past, looking at old photos, or listening to songs they love, reminiscing and its associated therapy is a treatment using all the senses to remember events from the past. This type of therapy is particularly helpful for people with cognitive disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. This form of therapy energizes the person’s thoughts or memories by arousing the five senses (sound, smell, sight, taste, and touch). It can exercise the brain, strengthen relationships, make the individual feel valued, and instill happiness.
Connect with youth
Individuals with dementia often brighten up and take notice when children or babies are present. A child can often elicit a positive response where an adult may not. Often, these interactions with kids have been a routine part of many people’s lives.
Individuals with dementia may no longer interact regularly with children or babies. Foster opportunities for youthful interaction when possible. This can include arranging family visits, going on walks together, or allowing quality time in the comfort of your home. Take advantage of these interactions between generations. It won’t just benefit your loved one with dementia, but can strengthen family ties and bonds for all members of the family.
For those that have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, engaging in activities regularly is essential. Seniors with dementia should do routine physical activity to sustain their health and strength. They should also participate in activities that supply them with sufficient cognitive stimulation. Granted, every activity, including those listed here, may not be appropriate for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Consider one of these activities for seniors, including those that include more physical activity, whether they have dementia or not.
Not all families or loved ones have the time available to provide support, activities, and needed care for those with dementia. Look into innovations or technologies that can supplement family caregiving. If you find that you need a little extra support for you or your loved one, consider home care which can be very supportive for those that live with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Chosen Family Home Care can assist with at-home support in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania.