One challenge family members or caregivers typically agree on is just how difficult it can be to find meaningful, stimulating activities for senior loved ones who have dementia. Staying engaged and connected helps adults living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia enjoy a better quality of life.
But knowing how to provide stimulating activities for your family member or loved one might be difficult. It starts by understanding what “meaningful activity” really means. It is also important to consider what your loved one enjoys doing, as every individual may prefer one activity more engaging and exciting than the other.
What is Meaningful Activity for Dementia Patients?
Elderly adults with dementia are often given tasks designed to fill time. They might be simple activities that are used to redirect attention if the older adult is experiencing agitation or sundowning symptoms. By contrast, meaningful stimulation for dementia patients are those that engage the person with an activity that is important to them.
The key to planning meaningful and failure free, stimulating activities for the elderly is to consider what hobbies and interests they’ve always enjoyed. For example, if your loved one always enjoyed having a flower garden, think about how you could adapt that hobby so it works around their current skills and abilities. These failure free activities for seniors with dementia are important because they need activities where they're successful. Being happily involved in stimulating activities helps reduce agitation, anxiety, depression and anger among dementia patients.
Perhaps it might be a raised bed in the side yard that allows them to plant and maintain a smaller version of their former garden? Or a container sensory garden on the back patio? Get creative! Keeping your loved ones engaged and stimulated is crucial for their day-to-day morale.
What is Cognitive Stimulation?
Cognitive Stimulation is an approach to brain exercise for adults with dementia to participate in enjoyable activities that stimulate thinking, concentration and memory. Cognitive stimulation can have many benefits for seniors diagnosed with dementia or other memory care conditions. Cognitive stimulation can lead to a positive impact on social interaction, communication, and increased quality of life.
There are stimulating activities for seniors with dementia that have been proven to be effective. Taking a few minutes to review this list might give you some good ideas for creating meaningful activities for your loved one.