When everyday activities become too difficult for people with dementia, it can increase agitation, anxiety, anger, and depression. Like everyone else, these patients still have the need to feel successful. To help with this, it is essential to find failure-free activities for dementia patients to participate in because they will always be successful, thus reducing these negative feelings.
There are quite a few activities that older adults can do, but the following 8 ideas are some simple things that have no right or wrong way to do them and are also low cost or free. It is important to remember that each person is different and it may take some time trying several different activities before finding the ones that appeal to the patient. For safety, avoid sharp objects and only use tools that will be safe.
- Create a memory box. This activity should help the patient feel connected to their past, including their career, hobbies, and family members. Any kind of box will work. The patient can then fill the box with items that they would have used in these activities, such as things that were used at work, pictures, and other keepsakes that will help them remember.
- Pattern blocks and boards. These can be used in many different ways, such as creating colorful pictures or tracing the shapes on paper.
- Cut pictures from old magazines or calendars. One activity that older adults may enjoy is paging through old magazines or calendars and cutting out the images that catch their eye. The pictures could then be pasted onto another paper in a collage or just kept to be enjoyed.
- Create sensory experiences with tactile crafts. Things such as clay and Play-Doh are great ways for dementia patients to get the benefits of tactile stimulation. Threading yarn or thread through pasta is another great option. Rubbing hands in lotion can also be helpful. Get creative with a variety of different shapes or textures.
- Listen to music and sing.According to Music and Memory, music can awaken the brain which, in turn, can bring back memories that are associated with favorite songs. Playing classics or Christmas carols can really be enjoyable for older adults.
- Fold laundry. Because laundry is a familiar activity for most people, the soft fabrics and repetitive motions can be soothing. Another possible result is that the smells from the detergent may also bring comforting memories with them. Just make sure to fold easy items like washcloths, rather than sheets, to avoid confusion.
- Untie knots. Get a length of thick rope and tie knots along it. This can be an enjoyable, soothing activity, as long as the knots aren’t too tight and the rope isn’t rough.
- Make a picture puzzle. Finally, print a copy of a family picture or a place that holds special meaning to the patient. Then laminate the picture and cut it into about four or five pieces to make a puzzle that will hold meaning.
Remember, just like everyone else, seniors with dementia crave connection and fulfillment. By providing these stimulating activities for them, these patients are able to have fun and feel productive, thereby reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger.
Innovations Memory Care
Bellaire at Devonshire is proud to be part of a new era of assisted living communities specially designed to facilitate residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia with the latest in care standards.
Our Innovations Memory Care Program focuses on treating each resident with deference, dignity, and careful attention. We take a holistic approach that integrates recommendations from each resident’s physician with counsel and direction from our Director of Memory Care, wellness team, residents, and their families.
Superior quality of life is Bellaire at Devonshire’s top priority for our resident family members. Our team members strive to balance the need for assistance with the individual’s desire to remain autonomous.
Our Memory Care residents can enjoy the finest in assisted living thanks to our customized levels of care, available services, focus on health and wellness, and enriching amenities. Residents of Bellaire at Devonshire enjoy greater independence and are able to live life to the fullest.
“My father in law was in the memory care unit. This community is far better than any place I have ever seen. The team is friendly, caring, and professional. This is the only community that I have ever seen that was NOT understaffed. They were very considerate and caring. I highly recommend Bellaire at Devonshire.”