What is it that gets you out of bed every day? Most of us have a long list of to-dos that drives us to begin the day. However much we might like to keep hitting the snooze button, having a sense of purpose is vital to our wellbeing. That is true for a person with dementia as well.
When caring for someone with dementia, it is natural to want to do as much as possible for the person. While the intentions behind that line of thought are to help make life better and easier, it may have the opposite effect. It’s essential to empower the individual to continue to tackle tasks and take part in purposeful activities, even if this means a bit of extra time and patience on your part.
What Are Some Good Activities for Someone With Dementia?
There is an endless list of activities for someone with dementia. It starts with activities of daily life, the things we hardly think twice about: preparing and eating meals, taking a bath, and getting dressed. But consider having these daily tasks completely taken over by some other person. How would it affect your self-worth?
With some support and modifications, a loved one in the early and middle stages of dementia can still complete these activities. For instance, if:
- Buttons and zippers are extremely cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled on and off more easily.
- Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is not possible any longer, consider which steps the person can still do: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
- Removing the toothpaste cap and squeezing just the right amount onto the toothbrush is challenging, take care of that step for the person, leaving the toothbrush on the edge of the sink so they can brush independently.
In addition, you will want to ensure there are a variety of fun and engaging activities for the person to enjoy throughout the day as well. Base these activities on their current and/or past hobbies and interests. Consider:
- Organizing nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders
- Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if required
- Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together, or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
- Taking a daily walk around the block or in the yard, enjoying nature and talking with neighbors
- Ability-appropriate puzzles and games
The home care experts at At-Home Care Company are trained in imaginative approaches that make every day the best it can be. Reach out to us online or give us a call at 515-292-2650 for more information on how our dementia care services in Boone, Ames, Nevada, and the surrounding areas can improve life for someone you love.