More than ever, it’s important for our loved ones with dementia to stay active, alert and engaged. After all, progress with such a challenging disease does not come from feeling withdrawn; in fact, maintaining certain practices can reduce the effects of memory impairment, contributing meaningfully to the overall quality of life.
Are you struggling to find valuable and engaging activities for those you love suffering from dementia? If so, let’s take a look at several that are easy to implement into a patient’s day-to-day schedule in an attempt to stay occupied, engrossed and moving.
Organize household items. This activity is not only productive, but also very rewarding for a dementia patient, particularly if he or she was accustomed to organizing in the past. Additionally, this activity can give a sense of peace, calm and orderliness to further ease anxiety about environment and surroundings.
Watch family videos. Who doesn’t love watching old home movies, especially when it helps someone suffering memory loss recall good times spent with the ones they love? Naturally, watching old family videos can lead to stimulating conversation and a comforting familiarity.
Read the newspaper. Talking about current events from a magazine or newspaper is helpful to dementia patients, as it allows them to feel up-to-date with the world around them. This feeling of being connected to the news and major world and local events can allow them to feel further connected to society—something which can be a problem in memory loss.
Bake or cook. Spending time in the kitchen can lead to engaging conversation, as well as fond memories of family recipes. Feeling engaged and connected to food and everything it means can be very heartwarming and important.
These activities—as well as many others—can help patients in self-expression while fostering emotional connections with others. This can keep them busy, which can also lessen anxiety and irritability related to dementia. In the end, these activities are keeping loved ones engaged, not just blankly filling up time. Take the liberty to modify them as you see fit, depending on needs around practicality and safety.