Although dementia is most commonly diagnosed in seniors, it can also happen to middle-aged people, as well as those who have suffered a brain injury. Many people still go on to live long lives after diagnosis, so it’s important to understand the condition and how you can treat it therapeutically. The goal is to help seniors retain their independence for as long as possible, as well as helping them have the best possible quality of life!
Symptoms will likely change as the condition progresses. It can range from occasional forgetfulness in the early stages, to not being able to recognize loved ones or interact with people in the late stages. The type of care needs to be given for the specific stage of dementia the person is dealing with.
As seniors progress through the different stages of dementia, the main goal is to keep them able to care for themselves and enjoy life. They may get to the point where they need constant care at some point. At the very least, they will have much shorter attention spans so it’s important to use quick activities that stimulate different parts of their brain.
The Importance of Quick Activities for Dementia Care
The following activities are designed to be quick and efficient. They will help your loved one stay healthy and happy for as long as possible as they cope with the effects of dementia. It will also appeal to their creative side, giving them things to engage in that are fun and bring joy, however, limited it may seem.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Do a Household Chore Together
Simple chores can be comforting on some level. It involves doing a familiar activity and allows the senior to focus on what they know how to do. This can be as simple as folding towels or drying dishes. Doing these activities may also trigger good memories and provide good conversation. The point of this activity is to help your loved one feel useful while also helping them cope with the symptoms of dementia.
Color in Adult Coloring Books
Coloring is a great way to improve memory and engage in something creative. It will help also with fine motor skills. Choose appropriate images that bring back nostalgic memories and aren’t too complicated. Engage in conversation while you enjoy this activity together.
Play a Memory-Based Card Game
Many card games are designed for strengthening memory skills. It’s also a wonderful way to relieve depression and lessen anxiety. The senior must stay alert to complete the game, and this helps them to remain focused and feel the positive effects of having completed something. Memory games such as Go Fish and Spot the Difference are a great place to start!
Take Short Walks
A brisk walk may not seem like a big deal, but it offers so much good for the treatment of dementia! Just a few minutes walking will increase blood flow to the brain, which helps everything. A little bit of exercise, fresh air, and time outdoors can do wonders for treating cognitive decline. If the patient is not very mobile, a simple walk down the hall may be all that is needed.
Sing a Song
Even if your loved one can’t join in, singing familiar songs can be a fun way that caregivers can interact with patients. Perhaps a song will trigger a good memory that will open conversation. They may even want to dance with you!
Utilize Animal Therapy
Animals have a wonderful way of bringing a smile to us. If you can’t see them in person, just looking at them on TV or watching funny shows that involve cute animals. Petting dogs or cats can release our “feel good” chemicals and this is why animal therapy is so popular among seniors.
Don’t be afraid to engage with your loved one, even if they seem distant. Simple and quick activities can go a long way in learning to cope with dementia and keeps your loved one more peaceful and calmer. For more ideas on activities for dementia, please contact us today!
Home Helpers of San Mateo County is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in Burlingame, San Mateo, Half Moon Bay, Daly City, San Carlos, Redwood City, Belmont, Foster City, Hillsborough, Pacifica, Millbrae, Montara, and San Bruno, California.
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