In order to help loved ones with dementia continue to lead a good, quality life and achieve purpose and pleasure, it’s important that they continually engage in activities that will stimulate them mentally, physically and emotionally. Many times those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are under-stimulated in their daily lives which can lead to a number of things like loss of focus and attention, interrupted sleep patterns, anxiety and depression, and behavioral challenges including repetitive questioning, shadowing and agitation.
It’s common, in the first stages of Alzheimer’s, for loved ones to stop doing the things that they once enjoyed. That doesn’t mean they no longer like these things – they may just need a few changes to their normal routine to help peak their interest again. Staying engaged in hobbies and interests can offer some very positive effects. In fact, research indicates that structured activity not only helps slow the progression of the disease, but also helps promote cognitive functioning. It’s even been shown that some types of physical activity can help nurture daily functioning and mobility.
Experts suggest that the activities loved ones are involved in shouldn’t just be a random past time, but actually a meaningful pursuit. There are a number of ways meaningful activities can bring pleasure to family members who have been diagnosed with dementia, especially if they’re receiving in-home care or personalized elder care.
Taking Part in Meaningful Activities Helps:
- Awaken familiar thoughts and memories
- Reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s, like anxiety and irritability
- Loved ones feel more involved in their own lives
- Illicit more of a connection with family
- Allows to be more expressive
Keep in mind that because dementia has the tendency to affect behavior and senses, initially, your senior might get flustered or overwhelmed. Remember to keep all activities simple and fun, avoid correcting insignificant mistakes and make safety a priority. Sites like Alzhemier’s.net offer a number of well-thought out activities worth trying with your loved one.
Activities Your Senior Might be Interested In:
- Make arts and crafts using simple tools and patterns
- Cook a meal using recipes your loved once used
- Watch old videos of special occasions or family events
- Read books together your senior used to enjoy
- Play music that’s familiar and enjoyable to your senior