A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and dementia can deliver quite a shock to both you and your loved one.
Both your lives, as you’ve known them, will change forever. And, unfortunately, often not for the better.
But it’s not all bad. And there are definitely things you can do that will help a loved one with dementia live a happy life.
In this article, we’re going to talk about one specific affect of dementia that doesn’t get talked about too often.
Seniors who develop dementia often pull back from things they used to enjoy and love. However, there are things you can do to keep them engaged in their community and maintain a social life.
Below are some tips that have been sourced from various Alzheimer’s care teams. Keep them in mind when you are making plans for your senior loved one. And, as you think about them, understand that they can be adapted to meet your loved one’s unique skills and abilities.
As you’re making plans for your loved one:
- Be mindful of their limitation and plan around them
- Try to stay focused on the enjoyment of whatever activity s/he is engaged in and let them have fun with it
- Give them a heads up and explain whatever activities s/he will be doing BEFORE they occur and make sure your loved one understands
- Let them help out as much as possible. Doing so will give her/him a sense of belonging
- Keep a close eye on them and evaluate their needs as they engage in various activities. If needed, adjust things to meet these needs
Not sure what types of activities may be ideal for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia? Well, we have some ideas for that as well. Again, these activities are some excellent options recommended by Alzheimer’s care teams based on their experience in working with those affected by dementia.
Good activities for those with dementia:
- Listen to some of their favorite music
- Gardening (such as planting flowers or picking fruits/vegetables when they’re ready to be harvested)
- Working with clay and making objects like a pottery bowl or a vase
- Jewelry making
- Doing other craft projects or doing artwork together
- Knitting a sweater or blanket
- Baking yummy treats you can enjoy together
- Interacting with a dog or other pet
- Making gift bags that you can share with family, friends and/or neighbors
The key here is to select activities that are easy for them to do. Anything that’s difficult can lead to them becoming frustrated and agitated. If you have a care provider for your loved one, s/he can help suggest and/or plan some fun, appropriate activities too.
And, if your loved one is living in a memory care facility, check with the staff there to see what activities are available.