Dementia can be a tough road to navigate—both for the person with it, as well as their caregivers and loved ones who have to watch them slowly decline. Learn how to spot the early signs of dementia here. And even though they may struggle with their usual activities, it doesn’t mean they have to give up on everything! Staying as active as possible can help your loved one retain some of their independence, and help to reduce anxiety and frustration they have from their dementia.
Here are some great activities people who have dementia can (and should!) do.
1. Help Out with Household Chores
Of course, your loved one with dementia likely shouldn’t try to cook a full meal or vacuum an entire home. But they can still help out with some things around the house. Have them fold laundry, wash dishes, sort objects, or do other small chores. This will help them feel useful and keep their mind active.
2. Play Puzzles and Games
While your loved one may no longer be able to play bridge or other more complicated games like they used to, they may still like the challenge of playing a game. Perhaps a simple game of “Go Fish” or another fun game suited for a younger audience may be more their speed.
They may also like to sit down and do a jigsaw puzzle or a word search during their alone time, or while you’re busy.
3. Spend Time with a Sensory Box
Fill a large cardboard box with a variety of things of different shapes and textures. You may include fabrics of different thicknesses and softness, some pages for colouring (don’t forget the crayons or coloured pencils), squishy balls, Matchbox cars, shoelaces or thick twine they can knot, and any other items they may enjoy touching.
4. Get Some Exercise
Anyone of any age needs to continue exercising as much as they can. Take your loved one for a walk, lead them through some gentle stretching, or have them participate in a movement class like tai chi.
5. Use Technology
There are so many different games and apps available on game systems, computers, and mobile devices that are geared towards seniors and those with memory loss. Help them utilize technology to find old songs, TV shows, videos, and pictures they can watch/look at to bring up some great memories. Find some audiobooks or podcasts they may enjoy — especially if they’re having some difficulty reading books. Another great way to utilize technology is to set up Skype or another video chat for them to talk to other loved ones.
6. Attend Social Events
More communities are setting up social events at local recreation or community centres for seniors with memory loss and their caregivers. These centres provide a setting for them to play games with others, engage in other activities, or sit and chat with others.
If your loved one is lucky enough to live in a senior housing community (like Trillium Communities), there should be plenty of opportunities to get out and socialize. They usually offer social events, a variety of activities, outings, and various forms of exercise. If you have any questions or want to book a no-obligation tour to see the many more amenities we have to offer in our boutique communities, contact us today.