Staying engaged and active is good for both cognitive and physical health, therefore individuals with dementia need to participate in daily activities. Certain activities have been proven to be helpful for dementia patients, such as exercise, games, outdoor activities, maintaining daily routines, as well as art and music. Giving routine and structure to dementia patients can help to retain their sense of security, cognitive function, and also calm aggressive or anxious behaviors. It can also provide a sense of control over their surroundings, especially for patients in earlier stages of dementia. For patients in later stages of the disease, most of these activities are often the few ways they can still communicate and engage their memories. To help you keep your loved ones actively engaged, here are four engaging activities your loved ones can partake in.
Experimenting with Sounds
If your loved ones love music or was previously a musician, you can conduct sing-alongs or introduce simple instruments to them. For patients with mild signs of cognitive declination, the musical ability may outlast other memory functions. For patients with more advanced cognitive declination, tambourines, maracas, and nursery rhymes can encourage creative expression.
Encouraging Visual Expression
Drawing and painting are some ways you can use to help your loved ones express their feelings safely and with creativity. Encourage them to go all out by using bright bold colors on large surfaces. You may even use rolls of butcher paper to help your loved ones create art pieces and express their creativity without feeling the stress from defined spaces.
Folding the laundry is a familiar day-to-day activity for many individuals. The repeated motion of folding the laundry and the fragrant scent of soft clean fabrics can be calming for your loved ones. Furthermore, fabric detergent smells could even invoke comforting memories. Start by getting them to fold easier clothing items such as T-shirts and hand towels. Avoid items such as buttoned shirts or fitted sheets that can pose difficulties and unnecessary frustration for them.
Create a Family Video Footage
With many tech products and services available on the market, it helps families and friends to stay connected with each other through chats and video calls. However, even when family members aren’t available to talk, their recorded presence can still be comforting to your loved ones. Start recording videos of their favorite house pets, celebratory moments, and family members and upload them onto a device your loved ones can easily access every time they are having difficulties sleeping or are feeling restless. If tech products such as tablets or smartphones are not an option, you can also choose to upload the videos onto a DVD or classic videotape.
Memory Care Program at Discovery Senior Living
As a caregiver, taking care of a family member with dementia has its own set of challenges. Here at Discovery Senior Living, we wish to support you and your loved ones through difficult times with our SHINE® Memory Care Program. Using a person-centered approach, we aim to create a holistic care plan made to fit your loved one’s unique abilities and needs, as well as to engage them in purpose-driven enrichment activities.