What Can You Do To Keep Your Loved One With Dementia Stimulated?
Engaging in activities that have meaning is vital for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Maintaining relationships with family members through fun activities can reduce memory loss and improve living quality. Certain activities designed for people with memory problems can help them be more expressive and maintain emotional bonds with their family and friends. They also help reduce stress and anger and trigger memories. Make sure to be aware of your loved one’s talents and capabilities, their preferences and dislikes, and any physical limitations before deciding what activities to pursue.
The experience of watching a parent lead their lives in a state of dementia isn’t easy. They may be unable to remember your name, the place they lived, or the length of time they married. Perhaps it’s as easy as not remembering to check their mail the way they used to or cleaning their refrigerators of expired food. You’d love to assist them in placing how to accomplish these tasks; however, they cannot. Dementia is the term used to describe the time when a person experiences diminished cognitive ability that is so severe as to affect their daily life.
It’s crucial to be aware that depression, behaviour issues, anxiety, and other symptoms of dementia can be relieved if your loved ones participate in a well-balanced program with fun activities. The idea is the importance of taking good care of the environment, plants and animals and engaging with others. Children and adults encourage an optimistic lifestyle that allows your loved one to lead an enjoyable, fulfilling, and healthier one. So, what should you try? Here are five fun activities you and your loved ones who suffer from dementia to do:
1. Music Therapy
The music you listen to that is from the past of your loved one will help them remember specific memories and feelings. Listen to songs that connect with the most memorable moments in their lives, for instance, the first dance at their wedding or the popular music when they were with you or your brother or sister. Let them sing along to remind them of the specific emotion they experienced at that moment.
In many instances, this could be the most effective option. Studies have shown that familiar music can entertain patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease when everything else cannot. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, even in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, people can sing or tap lyrics to songs from their childhood. Choose music familiar to the person suffering from dementia and music not interrupted by commercials that can create confusion. Encourage movement, such as dancing or clapping, to make it fun.
A recent study has shown that music therapy has been proven to give people with dementia an increase in their mood and improve their cognitive capabilities overall, and could reduce a good alternative to taking medication. Groups and programs all over the country have been developed to offer people with dementia a space to be calm and give people suffering from dementia something that they “can do” instead of “can’t perform.” The choir was established at 16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders. The choir allows members to enjoy themselves, laugh while singing and be a part of a group they are comfortable with.
2. Physical Activity and Sporting Events
Recent studies show that physical exercise improves well-being and mood, which helps in dementia treatment and can also boost memory and slow the decline of mental health. Find a way to remain active for yourself or your loved one who has dementia. Walking, taking classes, participating in the sport they were once interested in or simply going outside. Going to their most loved sporting event, such as baseball, football or soccer, is a fantastic way to keep them focused on their sporting edge. It may also bring back memories from earlier times of cheering for their favourite team.
Physical activity is great for your body and is vital for taking care of your mind. As per Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can help combat Alzheimer’s disease risk factors, including depression and obesity. If you know someone physically fit to do so, make sure they are moving at least 30 minutes daily. The person you love can take a stroll or cycle, swim or practice yoga. Check with your loved one’s physician before beginning any new exercise routine.
Certain kinds of sports are suitable for people with dementia to engage in. Games like bowls/croquet golf and cards are enjoyable and stimulating when played in a secure and controlled space. Games and sports can stimulate teamwork, competition and alertness and help keep motor capabilities intact.
Aiding your loved one who has dementia to feel comfortable carrying out the task is crucial. Gardening can be a great opportunity for you and your loved one to engage in some work! It can improve their overall mood by getting out and moving around, giving them the chance to feel valued when they finish a task and watching the progress of the planting process and watering, as well as seeing the flowers or veggies in bloom waiting to be harvested. Gardening can also use various sensory senses such as smell, sight, and touch to improve their cognitive capabilities.
A day spent in the garden and nature can be very therapeutic. Encourage your loved ones to plant a few seeds or stroll in the parks. Creating a sensory garden is an excellent way to keep those with signs of dementia. Lavender, basil, and mint are all great for sensory properties. They are olfactory and taste Willow trees are visually and extremely soothing, and the vibrant orange and red flowers can be visually stimulating. A garden that stimulates you is more exciting for you to be in.
4. Puzzles/Matching/Board Games
The process of putting together a puzzle provides them with mental stimulation and keeps their minds engaged and active by figuring out how the pieces fit with the other pieces. Following the stage of dementia, they’re through, and you may have to create a simple four-piece or even a 10-piece puzzle.
As with puzzles, games are also the top choice when finding activities suitable for people with dementia symptoms.
Puzzles are not just a way to stimulate the mind; they also offer social interaction that helps caregivers and patients build positive emotional bonds.
A recent study showed that the onset of acceleration in memory decline for dementia patients who regularly engaged in crossword puzzles was delayed by 2 1/2 years compared to those who didn’t.
Puzzles suitable for patients with dementia include:
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Puzzles for children with large, tactile or cut-out pieces
- Find-a-Word puzzles
- Mazes and
Research suggests that the risk of getting dementia is lower by 15 per cent when playing board games than non-players. Board games develop in the areas of critical thinking as well as memory, reasoning, and games that require strategies, such as checkers and chess, are ideal for seniors who need to think about and plan their and opponents’ moves. Strategist games also require considering the pros and cons of every action to ensure solid decision-making. Alongside chess and checkers, you could also play classic games such as Trouble, Monopoly, Mandala, and Chutes and Ladders. These games work the brain and provide entertainment for the entire family.
5. Baking Simple Recipes
Baking or cooking can stimulate the senses of sight, smell and taste. It may also trigger memories of eating meals with family and friends. The aroma of a cake baking could make you think of joyful memories of cooking for loved ones and a feeling of home. When they cook, seniors take pleasure in working with their beloved people or with their peers. It’s easy to form connections over the joy of food and cooking. Food is a passion for all of us!
Start cooking in the kitchen! Select a recipe that’s simple to follow and takes no cooking time. Could you print out the recipe for them to follow? You can also ask your loved ones to cross off every component as you move. This allows them to understand the recipe and follow the directions from beginning to end. It is not just practical to cook but also offers an enjoyable dessert to reward you.
Let your loved one participate as much as possible while keeping their security in mind.
Following their capabilities, depending on their abilities, your loved one can develop the entire recipe from beginning to end. Or perhaps, they’ll be able to help by assisting with one or two steps. They could even gain from just watching you cook if they cannot participate in all the steps, it will still keep them engaged in the process.
Make it easy with simple recipes like:
- No-Bake Cookies
- Garlic bread
- Fruit salad
The ability to keep your loved one’s brain and body healthy even with dementia can help them develop their cognitive skills and, in turn, slow the decline. It can also help them feel appreciated and confident in completing an activity or task.
We recommend carrying out these activities twice a week with loved ones to enhance engagement and keep them involved. Remember that these activities also involve savouring the process. So try not to concentrate on the result but on time spent with your loved ones well.
What are other stimulating activities good for clients with dementia?
You could prepare a simple meal together by baking or cooking. You could do some housework at the same time. Consider cleaning the patio, wiping the table, folding towels or doing other household tasks that help the person feel that they have achieved something. Knitting and painting are some arts and crafts that the person may enjoy.
What are meaningful activities for dementia?
In addition to the things we usually do in daily life, such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, and taking care of ourselves, meaningful activities include communicating with family and friends or perhaps having a call or a video conference.
Do games help dementia?
Those with dementia can make use of games as a means of stimulating their social and mental well-being as well as exercising their brains, which could slow the deterioration of their abilities.