For seniors with dementia and their caregivers, life can sometimes seem overwhelming, but fun and purposeful activities can reduce stress and bring them closer together. However, family caregivers need to plan projects carefully and choose tasks that boost mood and provide brain stimulation for their aging loved ones. Here are some tips on how to plan activities for a loved one with dementia.
1. Keep Your Loved One’s Preferences and Abilities in Mind
Never select activities your loved one dislikes and is unable to participate in based on current limitations. While it’s important to engage seniors and teach them new things, adults with dementia respond better to familiar activities that strengthen their current abilities. Include your loved one in the selection process and monitor his or her reactions toward each game, task, event, or project.
2. Encourage Your Loved One to Use His or Her Memory
Watching home videos, going through family photo albums, and discussing newsworthy events from the past require using memory and critical thinking skills. Remember to give your loved one prompts when asking about specific events in case he or she doesn’t know where to begin. For example, you can ask about his or her first date or the first time he or she drove a car.
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, Clearwater 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.
3. Incorporate Socialization Opportunities
Socialization gives seniors the ability to exercise listening and speaking skills as well as memory. Social interactions can help aging adults preserve many of their cognitive and physical skills. When choosing social activities, make sure the events or projects are appropriate for a person with dementia. Avoid large crowds that could frighten your loved one or increase the risk of social withdrawal.
4. Promote Physical Activity
Staying physically active can strengthen muscles and enhance fine motor skills, but that isn’t all. Physical activities, such as yoga, dancing, swimming, and tai chi, can also boost cardiovascular health, which prevents blood clots and problems that negatively affect brain functioning. Your parent can do these physical tasks and exercises inside the home or outdoors, as long as the space is safe and secure.
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 senior care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
5. Don’t Rush
Your loved one’s activity list should never include fast-paced tasks. If your loved one feels rushed, he or she could lash out verbally and physically. Activities that allow seniors to move at their own pace are always the best choice. While your parent is working on the tasks, don’t step in unless his or her safety is at risk. Being able to complete projects independently can build your loved one’s self-esteem.
6. Promote the Usage of Practical Skills
Seniors with dementia lose control of many of their cognitive and physical abilities as the neurological disorder progresses. Promote activities—such as cooking, cleaning, and decorating—that allow your loved one to feel more competent. Keep in mind that your loved one doesn’t need to complete each task. Merely trying to finish the activities could boost his or her self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment.
If your aging 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. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Clearwater Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call Home Care Assistance today at (727) 330-7862 to learn about our high-quality in-home dementia care services.