Dementia decreases a person’s cognitive functioning such as thinking, remembering, learning, and reasoning. As the disease progresses, it can lead to many psychological changes like anxiety, paranoia, and depression. Slowing down its progression can help people maintain their abilities for longer. Physical and mental activities are ideal to help slow down cognitive decline. Hence, it is important to keep your loved ones with dementia active and engaged. Focus on a few easy and engaging activities for seniors with dementia that boost their mood and self-esteem as well.
Apart from building strength and flexibility, these activities also can help with reducing their agitation, sundowning, disrupted sleep, and more. Above all, they also provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment for the seniors living with dementia.
10 Engaging Home Activities for Seniors With Dementia
Indulge the Seniors in Brain Games
Indulge them in simple but fun brain games at home. Jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, and board games such as Chutes and Ladders can be fun. Also, keep them busy with untying knots. These help the seniors stay focused and keep their hands working. Studies confirm that keeping the minds of dementia patients active can sustain their thinking skills for a long time. Also, brain games can slow down memory loss and other mental issues as well.
Show them A Sense of Purpose with Simple Tasks
Apart from keeping them entertained with fun activities, involve them in some productive work by giving them simple tasks. It can be routine for you to have them fold the bed sheets, clean the shelves, and so on. It makes them feel productive and gives them a sense of purpose.
Rekindle their Senses with Flavors and Aromas
Have seniors assist you in preparing a meal if they love cooking. The flavors and aromas can rekindle their senses and help them reconnect with themselves again. Depending on the stage, let them take the initiative or simply keep them by your side to watch you add all the ingredients that transform into a magical dish.
Play Soul-Stirring Music for Seniors
Music is a great way to stir their souls and minds into a positive direction. Switch on some music of their favorite genre or a song of their favorite artist from their generation. If possible, you can try to shake a leg with them depending on their condition, keeping their safety as a priority.
Give Sensory Experience with Pets and Kids
Studies show that kids, pets, soft toys can comfort people with dementia and make them feel happy. Getting into contact with babies, children and pets provides a sensory experience for them. The sheer presence of kids or pets boosts their mood by reducing their anxiety and irritability.
Stimulate their Creative Side with Arts and Crafts
Let the loved ones express themselves through creative activities such as arts and crafts. Playing with colors, cardboard creativity, painting plastic pots, and making shapes with clay can be fun for the elderly and can bring out the hidden child in them. Creative activities for seniors with dementia can improve their cognitive function, communication, and confidence.
Let them Relive Treasured Moments
Elders with dementia can have excellent memories of the past. Reminiscing about fond memories can make them feel young inside by living those treasured moments again. Show your loved ones a family album or a video. Ask them about the events and let their pleasant memories flash through their beautiful minds.
Encourage them to do Simple Home Exercises
Exercise and physical activity benefit people with dementia in many ways. They help to reduce their restlessness, and sleeplessness and prevent falls by strengthening their legs, back, and abdomen muscles. Let them stay balanced while standing. Allow them to take a stroll inside the house or on the lawn and have them stretch or sit on the bed for a while. Getting up from a chair, bed or toilet can be difficult for the elderly and simple exercises can help improve their ability to do the essential activities all by themselves.
Make them Explore Exotic Places With VR
VR technology is a wonderful way to take seniors to various places virtually. Let them visit virtual locations such as an azure beach, blazing dunes, a verdant forest filled with wildlife, and many other amazing places on this Earth. This will provide them with new experiences of life which are otherwise not possible due to limited mobility and a restricted lifestyle. A recent study shows that VR helped even those with advanced dementia recall a few of their old memories.
Things to Keep in Mind!
Remember that you are dealing with ailing seniors so please don’t make them do something they do not want to do. Patience is the key. Give them space and time to adapt and focus on their enjoyment rather than their achievements. Let them feel successful with failure-free activities. Also, ensure that they stay away from sharp objects that could potentially cause cuts, scars, and other unwarranted injuries.
The trained and professional caregivers at Assured Home Nursing Services (AHNS) are very knowledgeable about the symptoms and the progress of dementia. At the same time, they are also very compassionate and empathetic. Accordingly, they plan activities for seniors with dementia and keep them engaged at home. The specialized dementia care, Alzheimer’s care, and other memory care services of AHNS are tailored to perfectly suit the needs of your loved ones with cognitive decline.
If you need professional support to take care of your loved one with dementia at home, Assured Home Nursing is here to help you. For more information, please call 248-593-8134.