People with dementia can have difficulty completing everyday activities. Instead of pointing out areas where they are having challenging, what they need is to feel successful. A few fail-free activities can go along way in boosting their confidence and ensuring they can enjoy success, reduce agitation, anxiety and depression.
Choosing ideal dementia activities can go as far as reducing behaviours like sundowning and reliance on medication. But you have to find the right activities first.
Cross word puzzles
You can start things off with a simple yet fun game like a crossword puzzle. It’s a great way to keep the elderly distracted and reduce stress. Puzzles also help to improve the brains problem-solving capacity and boost confidence. You can start by selecting the easiest puzzles that don’t require much effort to complete and have a higher success rate.
Everyone wants to have a purpose in life and play a role. For people with dementia, being able to successfully complete easy task can be the difference between feeling frustrated and accomplished. One of the easiest activities you can give a person with dementia around the house is folding towels and laundry.
It’s an excellent way to keep them occupied while giving them a fail-proof activity that they will excel at. To maximise the chances of success, give them hand towels because they are small and are easily folded. It’s not always that the towels are going to be properly folded. But no matter the outcome of the task, it’s something that the older adult will be happy about.
Humour is an excellent fix for most of the challenges we face in the world. A few, carefully picked and well-placed jokes can help to minimise anxiety and turn a gloomy day around. If you’re not the funny man in your family, the internet is a great resource where you can find tonnes of jokes that your loved one might enjoy and have a hearty laugh listening to them.
Exercise and physical activities
You will rarely go wrong with exercise and physical activities. There are plenty of options to pick from for people with dementia and there’s a plethora of benefits.
Exercise can help regulate sleep cycles, reduce restlessness and sleeplessness in the evening and maintain a positive mood while reducing the risk of developing depression. Some great physical activities for people with dementia include:
- Walking around the neighbourhood or at the local park.
- Water aerobics
- Chair exercises
Take a stroll down memory lane
Although short term memory might be compromised, long-term memory remains stronger for longer among people with dementia. Engaging your loved ones on activities about their lives is a great way to exercise their mind while giving you an amazing opportunity to learn more about them. Some excellent ideas you can consider include:
- Interview them about their life and record it on video.
- Engage them in a talk about their life, childhood and family.
- Peruse through some of their old photos and make a photo album if possible.
- Watch family videos together.
- Focus on specific areas of interest and ask them questions about their favourite memories around those topics.
If your loved one is an animal lover, animal therapy is a great way to provide stimulation. Pets have excellent capabilities in reliving stress, anxiety and depression. Animal therapy has also been known to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
You don’t have to buy or purchase a pet. You could ask a friend with a well-behaved pet to come over or take your loved to visit a local animal shelter or farm to see all the animals.