Caring for your loved ones living with dementia doesn’t always have to seem like a challenge. The moment you begin by getting them involved in tasks and activities at home, you will not only notice a change in your loved one’s behaviour but it also lessens the burden placed on you, the caregiver. Depending on the severity of dementia in your loved one, we recommend the following activities to stimulate them at home.
There’s always room for more help in the kitchen and believe it or not but there are dementia friendly kitchen activities that you can task your loved one with. Making mashed potatoes, peeling vegetables or snapping beans are simple enough and easy to do under your supervision. Note the activities your loved one enjoys. Although they may not remember them the next time, he or she may repeat the processes instinctively. While doing familiar activities, such as sorting objects, keep the procedures the same, but try different content from day to day to keep it fresh for them and for you.
Let them get involved in their day to day routine. It does not matter if it’s done right or wrong but the act itself provides meaning to them. You should also get your loved one involved in activities that were a part of their past. This will provide them with a sense of self worth and add to their “Quality of Life.” These activities could include folding the laundry, setting the table, dusting the furniture, sweeping or simply picking flowers from the garden.
One of the greatest things you could do is involve your loved one with more of the gardening. Basic, repetitive tasks such as raking may fulfill your loved one, especially if he or she gardened in the past. Use herbs or other nontoxic plants that arouse multiple senses as this also contributes to the well-being of those living with dementia. Not only is gardening extremely therapeutic but it’s a form of exercise, something your loved one needs. Exercise helps everyone, including people with dementia, to maintain a healthy appetite, get a good night’s sleep and achieve a happy, endorphin-boosted outlook.
Entertainment and Games
Introduce your loved ones to easy crafts and game activities especially if they enjoyed these sort of activities in the past. Jigsaw puzzles, singing and watching old movies could help stimulate their memory and keep them entertained.
If your loved one doesn’t connect with an activity, be sure to have another ready. Through trial and error, you’ll find activities that best suit your loved one.