Keeping seniors with dementia physically and mentally engaged can reduce negative dementia-related behaviors. However, you may find this becomes increasingly more difficult as your aging loved one experiences cognitive decline. Although you’ll need to make some changes to your loved one’s normal routine, you can use these five tips to plan activities he or she may enjoy while also being stimulated.
1. Consider Overall Abilities
By the time your loved one reaches the middle stages of dementia, he or she probably shouldn’t be given activities that could cause harm if he or she tried to do them alone. For instance, your loved one probably shouldn’t cook a new recipe without assistance. When you come up with a new activity, compare the skills required with your loved one’s current abilities to make sure they’re a good match.
Seniors with dementia can optimize their quality of life with the help of a highly trained, experienced professional caregiver. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Lincoln caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.
2. Select Activities with Purpose
Your loved one may have dementia, but that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t want to feel useful. Seniors with dementia often have very lucid moments throughout the day when they may realize you’re trying to give them something to do that has no purpose. Try giving your loved one simple chores to do around the house. Sweeping the floor, folding towels, and wiping down tables are all considered good activities for a senior with dementia, and your loved one will be pleased that he or she is contributing to the household.
3. Choose Simple Activities
You may also need to simplify activities to minimize frustration. Sometimes you can do this by breaking activities down into steps. For instance, your loved one can cut out pictures for a collage one day and glue them down the next. You can also do some prep work beforehand, such as placing soil in a pot so your loved one can easily plant seeds. Removing a few steps from a favorite activity can make it more enjoyable.
Seniors with dementia often need assistance with everyday activities so they can age in place in safety and comfort. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Add a Few Challenging Activities
While simpler activities are usually better, your loved one still needs a challenge to keep the brain engaged. Try incorporating a few brain boosters into the daily routine, such as challenging your loved one to a card game or asking him or her to help you complete a word search. Only plan these types of activities for times when you’re available to provide assistance.
5. Include a Balance of Active and Calming Activities
Seniors with dementia can get overstimulated easily. For this reason, you need to have a calming activity available that you can pull out when you notice your loved one is agitated. For example, you can encourage your loved one to listen to a soothing song after finishing a word puzzle. Alternating between active and calm activities throughout the day gives your loved one frequent breaks, and you should always make sure your parent ends the day with something soothing, such as listening to a story or enjoying a hand rub.
If your loved one is living with dementia, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Lincoln families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call Home Care Assistance at 916.226.3737 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.