Staying involved and engaged in meaningful activities are important for people living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, due to the various benefits that they offer, from cognitive stimulation, the opportunity to socialize, to comfort and relaxation, and more. Not to mention the stimulating activities for people with dementia offer fun, creative, and productive ways to spend time with your loved one. Activities stimulate the brain and help to reduce common dementia behaviors, such as wandering, and are known to enhance one’s quality of life
At Anthem Senior Living in Phoenix, AZ purposeful activities are part of daily life for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Activities are tailored to an older adult’s talents and interests, and have been designed in our bid to keep residents’ cognitive skills intact and promote a sense of pride, purpose, and well-being.
However, the pandemic has left us all cooped up in the house to practice social distancing in order to curb the spread of the virus. Staying locked down in the house for so long can wreak havoc on everybody’s mental health, the aged and people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia being the most vulnerable, since they are not getting the chance to go outdoors to engage with loved ones, making it necessary to find more creative ways to keep them engaged and entertained indoors so they don’t miss going outside.
Isolation and boredom aggravates symptoms in dementia people causing them to act out or retreat further into a shell. Caregivers need to find memory care activities for mental stimulation in ways that give them a sense of joy and happiness. At the end of the day, the best activities are those that result in enjoyment and confidence.
Outlining some valuable dementia-friendly activities for home:
Reminiscing the past- Although people dealing with dementia have difficulty in recalling their short term memory, but find it easy to remember moments from their distant past. You need to get them relive the past, which you can do by looking through photo albums with pictures from your senior’s childhood or young adulthood, watching old movies and TV shows, listening to music (music can bring back the rich trove of memories connected to familiar songs), etc.
Involve them in meaningful activities– Encourage them to carry out tasks that have a clear purpose, for example, folding laundry, untying knots, sweeping the house, sorting cutlery, etc. can give them a proper sense of fulfillment and boost their self-esteem, and when it comes to paying compliments about how much you appreciate their contribution, don’t hold back. Also try out activities like yoga, doing puzzle, arts and crafts, gardening, and other simple games like cards or board games that are known to stimulate general thinking, concentration, and memory.
Sensory activities– Figure out ways to engage all their senses i.e. smell, taste, sight, hearing, and touch. For example, ask them to identify a fruit, flower, just by smelling it with their eyes closed, which can elicit positive memories and emotions, cook food together, using familiar recipes and spices as tastes also elicit emotions and memories like smell, a hand massage can do wonders, so on and so forth.
Contact Anthem Senior Living at 602.909.9550 to book a suite today! Our team members are well-trained in dementia-specific interventions, including engaging activities. We tailor activities based on a senior’s strengths, capitalizing on their past history.