Creating Meaningful Moments for Seniors with Dementia5 min read

by | Apr 11, 2018 | Healthy Living

Having Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can cause a person to become disconnected from others and disengaged from the things they love doing. It’s important to keep those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia active and engaged by doing activities that help their cognitive function. Although these activities won’t stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, keeping your loved ones involved can improve their overall quality of life. There are many activities you can do with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to help keep them active and engaged.

elderly woman painting a ceramic bowl

Examples of Activities for Seniors with Degenerative Brain Disorders

Activities like household chores, outdoor activities, handiwork, arts and crafts, reading, listening to music, or watching their favorite movies are all great activities for those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. All of these activities are easy things to do with a partner or group and will keep your loved ones stimulated. It’s important to remember though that not every activity will have the same effect on every person and some might not respond well if you try to get them to take part. In these cases, be supportive and try to adapt the activity as much as you can to help your loved one feel comfortable and enjoy what they are doing. The best kinds of activities are ones that are enjoyable to your loved ones, not to you; so, if you’d rather read but they would rather try their hand at a craft, be supportive. If you can get their memory and emotions attached to an activity, they are likely to have an improved cognitive response when engaging in that activity. This can help you create routines, figure out which activities your loved one responds to the best, and create meaningful moments during their day in which they truly engage cognitively. The more meaningful the activity is, the more your loved ones will enjoy it taking part in it.

Remember: Keep It Simple

It’s important to keep activities simple and as free of potential failure as possible. The simpler the activity, the easier it is to focus on. By removing the chance of failure, your loved one will remain more engaged and be happier. Successfully completing the chosen activity will give them a sense of excitement. Additionally, it is helpful to be patient with your loved ones while they figure out how best complete a task. Be encouraging and help them out when they need it. Being patient will help your loved ones be calmer and more relaxed and shows your willingness to help. This proves your dedication to helping them and spending time with them.

elderly with sun hat and apron woman potting plants

Giving someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia different activities to do has many benefits and can improve their overall wellbeing. Other things that can aid their success is to complete activities during times of the day in which your loved one is likely to have high energy and focus. This differs from person to person, but finding the right time to work on a project when they are the most focused is key. It allows them to use their motor skills to continue to practice their daily tasks and habits at the time they’re most prepared to deal with potentially frustrating moments.

What activities do you like to do with your loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? Let us know!