If your parent or grandparent has been diagnosed with dementia, it can be difficult to watch your loved one’s mental abilities deteriorate. While there is no actual cure, there are some pastimes that may help preserve cognitive function and fight off memory loss for as long as possible. If you’re looking for some fun, mentally-stimulating activities to do with someone who has dementia, there are several beneficial activities for senior citizens with dementia. Here are some beneficial activities for senior citizens that are battling the mild-to-moderate stages of this condition:
1. Look through old photo albums.
Sometimes those with dementia can start to forget about people and experiences from the past. Looking at photographs can be a great way to evoke fond memories and serve as a reminder of the family members that care about them. Show your loved one each picture and discuss the people you see by name. You can also talk about favorite vacation spots or funny stories that are associated with the photos. Anything you can do to keep precious family memories alive will benefit those with dementia.
2. Start a scrapbook.
If your loved one enjoys crafts, this is a fun activity that takes the previous option a step further. Purchase some supplies like printed paper, foam, felt and stickers from your local craft store. Then, provide a blank photo album along with some pictures to choose from. The act of organizing and pairing the photos with a theme on each page will get seniors thinking and help them sustain their reasoning skills. That’s always a good thing for those who have been diagnosed with dementia.
3. Do an organization project.
Just like making a scrapbook, this activity can help the senior in your life remember how to arrange things and maintain order. Plus, organization projects have the added benefit of helping those with dementia keep track of where they keep everyday items. For example, by allowing your loved one to organize the pantry or kitchen cabinets, he or she will be more likely to recall where common foods like bread and peanut butter are located. Organizing can help seniors feel assured that they have everything they need as well as promote a sense of accomplishment. The elderly often struggle with the need to feel productive and taking on an essential chore can help satisfy that desire.
4. Create some artwork.
No matter how old you are, you’re never really too old to make something beautiful. Drawing and painting are fantastic ways to keep your loved one’s creative juices flowing. If your parent or grandparent is dealing with arthritis in addition to dementia, there are several types of pens and brushes available that are specially designed to make the painting process easier. Even using crayons and a coloring book can be a fun way to help spark creativity as well as maintain hand-eye coordination. Any type of artistic activity may help stave off the effects of dementia.
5. Go for a walk or develop a home exercise program. Get into a routine and be sure to put it on their calendar. Getting exercise with a family caregiver or a home health aide can ensure consistency. Exercise cannot revise the affects of dementia but it can slow the progress.
When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, that doesn’t mean you should just sit around and wait for his or her mental decline. Studies show that activities like the ones on this list can actually help preserve the cognitive abilities of those with dementia. If you know a senior who is dealing with the early stages of this condition, suggest one or all of these options to sustain memory and brain function for as long as possible.
The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about how t spruce up your home with RN managed affordable care. We are a personal home care agency that provides elder home care serves in the Orlando area, call us at 407-788-9393.