What gets you out of bed every day? Many of us have an extensive list of to-dos that pushes us to begin the day. As much as we might wish we could keep hitting the snooze button, having a sense of purpose is in fact imperative to our health. That’s true for a person with dementia as well.
When caring for someone with dementia, it’s natural to want to do as much as possible for the person. Though the motives behind this way of thinking are to help make life better and easier, it may have the opposite effect. It is essential to help the individual to continue doing tasks and take part in enjoyable activities, even if it means a bit of additional time and patience on your part.
What Are Some Good Activities for Dementia Patients?
There is an endless list of activities for dementia patients. It begins with activities of everyday living, the things we rarely think twice about: taking a bath or shower, getting dressed, preparing and eating meals. But imagine having these everyday tasks completely taken over by another person. How might it impact your self-esteem?
With some modifications and support, a loved one in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can still accomplish these activities. For example, if:
- Buttons and zippers are too cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled off and on more easily.
- Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is no longer possible, think through which steps the person can still complete: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
- Removing the toothpaste cap and squeezing the right amount onto the toothbrush is challenging, take care of that step for the person, leaving the toothbrush on the side of the sink so they are able to brush independently.
In addition, you’ll want to ensure there are many fun and engaging activities for the person to enjoy throughout the day as well. Base these activities on their current and/or past hobbies and interests. Consider:
- Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
- Sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders
- Ability-appropriate games and puzzles
- Taking a regular walk around the block or in the yard, enjoying nature and chatting with neighbors
- Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if necessary
Want more activities for dementia patients or to learn about our in-home care services? The home care experts at Anthem Home Care are trained in innovative techniques that make every day the very best it can be. Contact us online or call us at 361-643-2323 for additional information on how our dementia care services in Ingleside, Rockport, Taft, and the surrounding areas can improve life for someone you love.