Uncovering purpose, meaning, and joy in the world around us is crucial for our wellbeing, and that does not change when a person is identified as having Alzheimer’s or dementia. Nonetheless, continuing to keep engaged in hobbies and interests can become difficult, because it’s common for many during the early stages of dementia to withdraw from routines that have once been pleasant.
For family caregivers, helping to reignite that spark and offer support to remain engaged is key. These tips will help:
- Establish the older adult’s best time of day. If, for example, a senior loved one is an early riser but begins to lose energy later on in the day, shape the day’s activities around that schedule, such as taking a morning walk and then engaging in a fun activity together.
- Bring the past to the present. With long-term memory frequently stronger in individuals with Alzheimer’s, take advantage of what the older adult’s life was like during a particular timeframe, such as during his/her career, and individualize activities accordingly. For example, a retired art teacher might want to paint a picture, whereas a homemaker may possibly prefer sorting and folding laundry.
- Ask for help. Letting your senior loved one know that he or she is needed is an easy confidence booster, and vital for self-worth. Ask the senior to work with you in baking some treats, in whatever means is appropriate based on the stage of the dementia – even if it’s just stirring a bowl of flour and salt together. Or perhaps bring out a toolbox of assorted nuts and bolts and have the individual help you to sort them.
Through the process of participating in activities, keep the following in mind:
- Permit plenty of time for the senior loved one to work at his/her own pace.
- Avoid “taking over,” but offer encouragement and supervision as required and accepted.
- Give straight-forward instructions, one step at a time, in order not to overwhelm the senior.
- Pay more attention to the activity itself, rather than an anticipated result.
- Stay flexible, knowing the senior may suddenly choose to change course.
Above all, concentrate on the quality time you are spending together with your loved one. If a certain activity is not intriguing to the senior now, simply enjoy a discussion and reminiscing together, and try the activity again at a different time.
The highly trained dementia care team at Anthem Home Care is extensively trained and experienced in creative, effective ways to helping senior loved ones remain active and engaged in the community around them, and we are always on hand to supply helpful resources, tips, and the in-home care that families trust.
Reach out to us at 361-643-2323 to learn more about our top-rated home health in Corpus Christi and to request a complimentary in-home consultation, and help a cherished older adult you love find a renewed zest for life, every day!