Staying engaged and stimulated is important for all seniors, for both cognitive and physical health, but especially for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Dementia is a gradually progressive illness and over time the individual will most likely have trouble learning new things. Having a routine in place that helps incorporate stimulating activities for your loved one can help enhance cognitive function, build a sense of productivity, provide focus, and give them something to look forward to.
For an activity to be successful for someone with dementia, timing is important. Those living with dementia can experience mood swings easily, and their behaviors may be unpredictable. A good time for an activity is when your loved one seems happy or content, and try and avoid times where they appear distracted, irritable, or anxious. If your loved one seems preoccupied or upset, that’s usually a good sign to switch to a less-stressful activity. Try and focus on your loved one’s needs and be ready to switch to a new activity if needed. Remember that there is a phenomenon they often face called sundowning which makes evening activities more difficult.
There is no one activity that will work for every dementia patient, so it’s important to pick projects on an individual basis. When choosing the right activity for you and your loved one, try to find something simple with easy-to-follow steps, that matches their ability level and can be completed without frustration. Think about activities that they used to enjoy in the past and adjust them to their current abilities.
If you’re interested in learning more about activities you can engage in with your aging loved ones or are looking for resources or information to better support them with dementia and other aging related conditions, our experienced staff can help with coordinating treatment, creating a care plan, arranging services, monitoring needs, and more. Please give us a call at 803-215-1019 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.