A person with Dementia needs a good quality of life which is more difficult to achieve without the assistance of a family member or a caregiver. There are many ways to provide for intent and joy in a senior’s life; they do not need a great memory to enjoy themselves. Preferably, activities for a person living with Dementia should be meaningful to the person and be tied to their past occupation, social interest or hobbies this means knowing the person’s former lifestyle could be of a great help in achieving the purpose. In planning for activities for seniors with Dementia, the concentration should be on the interest and passion of the person and activities they can feel successful at. The following should be considered when planning for activities:
Be sensitive to cultural background
Good communication skills
Make sure the work area is safe and reduce the risk of fall
Ideally activities for seniors with Dementia should include:
Folding of clothes
Engaging seniors in folding a basket of washed clothes and towels is a great way to keep them busy. This is not about how properly they fold; it is about the great feeling of accomplishment they have for contributing to the household chores.
String beads for jewelry
Stringing beads is a great activity for people in the early and middle stages of memory loss. The sizes of the beads should also be considered. A senior in the early stages of Dementia can use smaller size beads depending on their eyesight. They are likely to perform more complex patterns than those in the middle or late stages of Dementia.
For many people, as they age, the importance of spiritual nurturing increases. In cases like this you need to offer them books of faith in keeping with their tradition and belief, times of prayer or meditation or singing together.
Bake or cook meals together
If a senior has a history of loving to bake or cook, do this together with them with simple recipes. This is a great activity for feeling a sense of achievement.
Crosswords and puzzles
People with dementia typically have impaired memories, some of them are still capable of doing crossword, puzzles, word searches and jumbles.
Brain-training computer games
Brain-training game is encouraged because it boosts a person’s processing speed.
Arts and crafts
Arts provide a purpose and task for a creative outlet to make something. This should include simple activities like knitting and painting. A senior who has been a skillful knitter may be able to knit a sweater and with the painting a little more supervision will be required.
Engaging in board games like Snake and Ladders, Ludo are de-stressing and help boost the confidence level of the individual involved.
Planting of flowers in the garden or the terrace is also a great way to inspire a physical activity.
Music and Dance
Music can elicit emotions and memories and help provide a link to a person’s past. It promotes interconnection with Dementia so always play music they enjoy the most. Simple dancing should be learned and enjoyed as well.
By Anita Amos
Senior Care Coordinator
Adult Alternative Home Care