For individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, engaging in regular activities is important. Not only should they do regular physical activity to maintain their health and strength, but they should also engage in activities that provide them with thorough cognitive stimulation. However, not all activities are suitable for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
What to Keep in Mind with These Patients
The activities that Alzheimer’s and dementia patients do should be more meaningful and purposeful than something to do just to pass the time. You’ll want to engage them in appropriate activities that provide proper stimulation without added stress. It can also help to consider their past interests but know that activities Alzheimer’s and dementia patients used to enjoy are not always appropriate for them to do now. This is because some activities might be too overwhelming for them as the disease affects one’s behavior. So, they can become agitated or frustrated by the activity.
If you are struggling to come up with what to do with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and need help brainstorming ideas, then continue reading. The following is a list of appropriate, stimulating, enjoyable activities that you can do with individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
1. Arts and Crafts
Doing arts and crafts is a great way for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to be creative. Some appropriate examples of arts and crafts activities they can do are painting or knitting. This is an especially good activity if the person was known to be artistic and creative.
But be sure to not do anything overly complicated. Instead, find an art activity that is simple but still offers room for thorough creativity. If a craft involves too many intricacies, your loved one may just become overwhelmed and will not want to continue with it instead of being able to enjoy their activity.
Whether it be a fictitious story or an article in the local newspaper, reading is a great way to stimulate your brain. If the individual with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia doesn’t want to read themselves, then you can always opt for reading to them, as it allows them to still enjoy a story while also utilizing their comprehension skills. However, it’s in their best interest to stick to shorter, simpler stories as opposed to long novels, because they’ll be able to stay better engaged.
3. Enjoy Music
Listening to music can be a great way to pass the time while allowing people to channel an artistic side of themselves. It can even remind individuals who have Alzheimer’s or dementia of memories that are associated with music.
However, be cautious of the music you choose to play for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to listen to. Some music can come off as too noisy or unsettling and will just end up upsetting them. If the person you’re caring for especially enjoys music and shows an interest in it beyond listening to it, then you can try singing songs and playing instruments with them.
4. Play Games and Do Puzzles
Simple games offer individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia critical thinking and enjoyment without being too frustrating. You can try playing board games, or you can get a deck of cards to play card games. Word searches and crossword puzzles are another stimulating option.
Jigsaw puzzles are another fun choice that allows Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to stimulate their brain and use their problem-solving skills.
5. Go for a Walk
Whether it’s a stroll around the neighborhood or a walk in the park, taking a walk is good light exercise that allows Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to get outside.
6. Do Light Housework
While chores aren’t something many people enjoy doing, it is nice to feel useful. That said, have Alzheimer’s and dementia patients do light housekeeping activities like sweeping the floor or folding laundry. It can give them a wonderful sense of accomplishment to make a difference in their home.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
When you do activities with an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient, it’s essential that the activities that they do are appropriate. It’s also important that whomever is accompanying and caring for them uses that time to be supportive, encouraging, and flexible with the activity. Consider the individual’s interests, what they would like to do, and whether they need a break.
Not all families have the time to provide these activities and dementia care for their loved ones, though. In the event that you need home care for a loved one who lives with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, Assisting Hands Home Care can help through the memory care services we provide in Schaumburg, IL and the neighboring areas.
We can provide your loved one with a caregiver who will not only spend time doing activities with your relative, but will also provide dementia care and assist them throughout the day within the comfort of their own home.