5 million Americans have some form of Dementia that progresses as they get older. As time goes on, someone with Dementia finds themselves having trouble remembering things that have happened in their lives or are happening around them.
Those caring for them, whether at home or in assisted living, must find activities for dementia patients to participate in to help stimulate their minds daily. Below we’re going to share some of our favorite activities with you that can be used to help people with Dementia. Parsons House is an award-winner senior living community in Omaha with a focus on dementia patients. Here are a 7 fun and engaging activities you can try at home. Are you looking for a senior living community in the Omaha area with a focus on memory care? If so, please contact us to learn more about Parsons House. Otherwise, keep reading!
1. Talk About the Past
In people that have Dementia, often their long-term memory is much better than people expect it to be. For this reason, one of the best activities for dementia patients to do is spend time talking about the past.
It will help them reminisce about their childhood and memories they made with their families as they were growing up. It’s also beneficial to spend time talking about their past because it helps the person feel involved in what’s going on around them.
When you’re sitting around talking about these memories, we encourage you to capture the stories your loved one tells on some type of recording device. When they forget, you can take out one of the tapes and play the stories for them.
Sometimes it helps to jog their memory, and sometimes it’s just something that they’ll enjoy listening to even if they don’t remember telling the story themselves.
We aren’t saying take them to a CrossFit class, but there are many benefits that someone with Dementia can take advantage of when exercising. Exercising can help someone with Dementia reduce the risk that they will develop depression that can easily happen when left inside all day.
It’s also helpful when it comes to helping their bodies remain strong and improving their overall mood.
3. Animal Therapy Classes
Who doesn’t love getting a wet kiss from a puppy or cuddling with a kitten? There’s something about feeling the soft fur of an animal that instantly puts a smile on the faces of people no matter what they’re going through.
We recommend that you check the resources in your area to find a place where you can take your loved one to interact with pets. Or, if you know of a close family member or friend, you might want to ask them if they’re willing to come over a couple of times a week and allow your loved one to spend some time with their pet.
Frequent pet therapy has been known to improve the mood of those interacting with animals because it increases the brain’s serotonin chemical.
4. Listen to Music
Several studies are conducted to show a link between the benefits of using music to aid in helping the memory of those who have Dementia. Music can be used to stimulate the way someone responds to things around them.
Often people with Dementia find themselves becoming frustrated because of the things they do and don’t understand. Music can help them to remain in a state of calm, and it can also help their mood.
There are tons of applications that can be downloaded to create a specific playlist that your loved one can sit and listen to whenever they want.
5. Try a Puzzle
Doing puzzles can help to increase a person with Dementia’s memory. That’s why when you were younger, people always told you to do crosswords and other puzzles that forced you to think about your next move.
Several puzzles come in several shapes and sizes you can do with your loved one. If they become frustrated with the puzzle, take a break and come back to it later.
6. Folding Clothes or Towels
We know you probably are reading this activity and wondering how anyone can find this enjoyable. The idea is to keep your loved one engaged no matter the outcome.
They might not remember how to fold a pair of pants or a towel, but when you look at their faces, you can tell how grateful they feel to be doing something like this with you. It provides them a sense of normalcy and allows them to feel like just because they have Dementia doesn’t mean they can’t do certain things.
7. Do Some Crafts
There are tons of crafts that you can find online for people to do. Again, this is another suggestion where someone can use their hands and remain engaged instead of sitting down doing nothing.
Once they’ve finished a task, you can create a keepsake box that’s filled with all the crafts they’ve done over time. When they’re having a bad day, take out the keepsake box and show them the items they’ve created.
It’s a wonderful way to diffuse a situation that could easily escalate into something more serious.
Activities for Dementia Patients
There are several activities for dementia patients that you can use to help them remain engaged and upbeat throughout the day. You can find several crafts to do online that your loved one will enjoy participating in, and you should also try doing a puzzle.
If you find that it’s time for your loved one to make the transition from living at home to moving into a facility, contact Parsons House on Eagle Run. We’ve got the information you need to help your loved one make a smooth transition into assisted living.
Let us help you make Parsons House their new home and get them the round-the-clock care that they deserve.