For those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, activities offer stimulation for cognition, social interaction, and relaxation. Whether your loved one is at home or in a memory care community, here’s why it’s important to keep them active and how to do it.
Why is it important to keep dementia patients engaged in daily activities?
A daily routine with healthy activities is important for seniors of any age, but it’s especially vital for those with dementia. As the disease worsens over time, the person may find it more difficult to focus and learn new things. Having a routine in place early on will help give them structure that they find familiar. Additional benefits of engaging activities include:
Stimulates Cognitive Function
Staying busy helps keep the mind active and ready to engage in new experiences. It’s important to stay physically and mentally active to the extent that the patient is able. Staying active with family and friends also helps to maintain social bonds while challenging the person to recall memories and share ideas.
Builds a Feeling of Productivity
Many elderly dementia patients feel like they place a burden on their family and friends. Daily activities can help them feel more productive and feel that they are accomplishing something.
Provides a Source of Focus
Daily activities give a person with dementia something to focus on and look forward to. Daily routines add stability to the life of a dementia patient and effectively reduce stress.
Appropriate activities for a loved one with dementia
It’s important to remember that their activities should adapt to match their abilities. They may start off small and allow themselves time to make progress, which will make their effort more rewarding. Here are some activities that can help dementia patients stay active and engaged:
Music provides comfort to people. It helps us relax, it makes us happy and it can even trigger strong emotions. Music can soothe and stimulate people, it can evoke powerful emotional responses and it can help people reconnect with memories too.
Nostalgia can also be a good way to help your loved ones connect with their past if you are caring for someone living with dementia. Listen to their favorite singer or band together. Create a Spotify playlist of your favorite artists or genres.
Whether it’s cards, puzzles, or any other board game, these are great stimulating activities for someone with dementia. The main goal of activities is to help the person be happy and stimulate their mind, and games can make them feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Arts & Crafts
Art therapy is used in many different settings, including nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, and prisons. The goal of art therapy is to help people express themselves creatively. Art therapy can be used to treat conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.
Gardening is a great activity to engage people with dementia because it allows you to adapt the activities as the disease progresses. You can build a raised garden bed, grow herbs indoors, and even take part in planting seeds outside. A good way to do this is to go out every day and plant something new. If gardening becomes too much, try taking a trip to the local Botanical Garden.
Having your loved one help with housework that is safe can contribute to a feeling of meaning and purpose for those living with Alzheimer’s. This includes folding laundry and putting it away, cleaning up spills, doing odd jobs around the home, taking out trash, vacuuming, dusting, cooking meals, shopping, paying bills, and even driving. These tasks can provide a sense of accomplishment and responsibility while helping to keep your loved one engaged and active.
Discover a continuum of care at Oasis Dementia Care
At Oasis Dementia Care, our mission is to provide the highest level of care for our neighbors and to also assist Tristate families that are dealing with dementia. We strive to get to know you and we care about providing the best care possible. If you’re interested in learning more about the community at Oasis Dementia Care, please contact us.