Individuals who have dementia or Alzheimer’s have aggressive behavior and are anxious at all times. This can be controlled by engaging them in several activities, for instance, simple exercises, games, learning or listening to music, artwork or any outdoor activity. Most of these activities directly contribute to both physical health and cognitive function which are very important.
Another way of engaging dementia senior is to plan their daily routine. It will not only give them a sense of security but will also keep them calm. For those in the early stages of Dementia, a set routine will make them feel in control. But those in the final stages of Dementia, these activities will act as an essential means of communication.
List of activities to engage a Dementia patient
Though various activities are listed by experts to engage Dementia patients one must remember that every individual is different. Thus, a caregiver must plan the activity based on that individual’s personal interest, personality, and situation. The activities for an early stage patient will differ from one at the final stage.
➢ Try dancing
Dancing is fun, and everyone loves to do it once in a while. Thus, a caregiver can fix one day in a week for a small dance session. If your loved one is reluctant or shy, come forward and help them loosen a little bit. This activity will be good for an individual who loved music once or was a part of some band or a show in the past. They might end up reviving some of their memories in the past.
➢ Maintain a journal
Writing thoughts and emotions in a journal will take away all the anxiety and stress. It is a good exercise for mind and will keep their brain active.
➢ Fixed routine
Experts believe that simple everyday tasks or weekly schedules can enhance personal satisfaction in a Dementia patient. For instance, a brunch date every Tuesday or one hour of journal writing every morning. It will lessen anxiety and depression and enhance sleep quality.
➢ Encourage a hobby
A small hobby such as gardening will engage your loved one. They can grow something they like and enjoy the feeling of doing so. Also, it will involve many gardening tasks such as trimming, digging and sweeping, watering, etc, which will keep them occupied.
➢ The power of music
Research indicates that music reduces agitation and enhance social issues to an extent in the case of individuals with early stages of dementia. Indeed, even in the later stages, the individuals might tap a beat or hum the lyrics of a song from childhood. Music gives a way to connect when verbal communication gets difficult.
➢ Engage them in their favorite activity
Every individual has a particular liking towards something. Your loved ones may have a habit of reading a book or collecting coins. The caregiver must insist them on carrying out these activities as they will surely enjoy it even if their understanding is lesser than before.
➢ Cooking a meal together
If your loved one is an excellent cook but can’t remember the recipe or steps to make that perfect meal, give them a hand. In the end, both you and your loved one can enjoy a hand-made meal together.
Thus, plan a whole week of activities and be a part of each of them. You will soon notice that these activities will enhance their cognitive function and they will also feel responsible, engaged at all times and most importantly in control.