Activities for Loved Ones with Dementia
by Rose Marie Massaro
If you have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s important to help them keep active and engaged. Especially in the early stages, they will want to continue feeling useful and productive. Being able to complete simple household tasks or continuing a hobby can help soothe anxiety, depression and frustration that can come with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It also helps to maintain cognitive abilities and a sense of familiarity. Here is a list of activities you can do together. Keep in mind that activities may need to be modified to fit your loved one’s abilities and interests.
Read A Book: If your loved one has always enjoyed reading, pick out a book together. Let your loved one hold the book as you read the words. Try to stimulate conversation with questions or feedback on what you’re reading.
Fold Towels: This or another simple household task will help your loved one feel like they are helping around the house.
Gardening: For a change of scenery, bring your loved one outside to get their hands dirty. It might be a good idea to give them a container or window box to give them their own dedicated space.
Go for a Walk: Another option to get your loved one outside is to take a walk. This is an ideal way to get some light exercise, but be mindful not to go too far. It might cause your loved one to become confused as to where they are.
Card Games: Use over-sized cards to play simple card games like Go Fish. Sorting games like matching cards by suits or colors can also stimulate the mind, depending on the stage of dementia they are in.
Picture Puzzle: A low-count puzzle with large pieces can bring a great deal of satisfaction when finished to a patient with dementia. The more they can do on their own, the better.
Pathways’ senior professionals have received training from Dementia-Friendly Leaders®. They are prepared and able to provide person-centered/relationship-based dementia care in long-term senior living communities, home care agencies, hospice and palliative care organizations. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding care for your loved one with dementia.