Creating Fun, Engaging Activities for Your Loved One with Dementia
As we mentioned in our previous blog covering how to prepare your home for your loved one with dementia, it is important to think through nearly every aspect of their life. This not only includes safety measures in bathrooms in bedrooms, but daily activities as well. It is vital for your loved one to have stimulating activities to engage in to enjoy life and keep their minds active.
The activities that are right for your loved one will depend on their state of dementia, their physical health, and their overall preferences. Are they able to move around? Do they enjoy getting out and going places? Do certain things aggravate their symptoms and cause more stress? You must think through all of these factors prior to making a list of activities for them.
General Activities Around the Home
There are plenty of simple, fun activities that you can provide for your loved one to ensure they are getting the interaction, stimulation, and enjoyment they deserve. Most importantly, these activities should feel meaningful. Try to avoid creating activities that will just fill time and not be as enjoyable for your loved one.
General activities you can consider setting up for your loved one:
- Coloring, drawing, and craft stations (make sure there are no dangerous objects)
- Reading books out loud together
- Listening to music
- Looking through family photographs
- Folding laundry or other basic cleaning
- Performing minimal garden or yard work
- Playing dominos, chess, or other simple board games
- Baking cookies, cakes, bread, etc. (keep recipes simple)
- Walking around the property or a quiet neighborhood
- Working on puzzles together
- Watching old family videos
Remember, these activities are for your loved one, so try to remain as supportive and flexible as possible. If they resist an activity or suddenly lose interest, take a break. Even if you planned every detail out, it is important to keep in perspective the activity is for their enjoyment. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved one if they would like to do something else. You can also ask them if they would like you to change some detail of the activity to make it more enjoyable or fun for them.
At the end of the day, the process of the activity itself is more important than the results. If your loved one enjoyed the time spent on the activity, regardless of whether they completed it, that should be counted as a success!