When you are caring for a parent with dementia, it’s important that you are providing therapeutic activities that will keep them motivated and stimulated in their day-to-day life. This will help improve the quality of life for your parent with dementia, and ensure that they feel good and in control themselves.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to caring for someone with dementia, and it’s important that you keep the following things in mind when you are figuring out the right activities for your aging parent.
You should choose activities that match your loved one’s current skill sets which is usually determined by their stage of the dementia disease. Anything too challenging will likely cause frustration. Make a list of things that your loved one can do independently, from writing a shopping list themselves to managing cleaning up after a meal. This will help you to assess the types of activities that will match their skills and their disease stage.
Enjoyment & tastes
What kinds of things does your parent like? What did they enjoy before their dementia diagnosis? Focusing on their enjoyment rather than their achievement is one of the best things that you can do for your elderly parent with dementia. Choosing enjoyable activities over new things is usually the preferred option.
Be sure to keep in mind your loved one’s physical limitations in addition to their cognitive challenges. Can they still use their hands? Are they able to walk for any distance without getting too tired? This will help you to choose the activities that they will actually enjoy doing.
Activities For A Parent With Dementia
To help you get started, we have put together some stimulating activities that you could try with your loved one:
Preparing food together can be an exciting activity for your parent and bring them back to doing things that they enjoy, especially something like baking. Keep the recipes simple and encourage them to do the parts they are capable of doing, and you’ll see their happiness in the feeling of accomplishment that they get when they see everyone enjoy the final result.
Choose music from an era they enjoy, and sing together, or even dance a little bit. The power of music in dementia care is so important — it’s a tool that will grab your loved one’s attention and can help them come out of their shell.
One of the best things about gardening is the chance to get some fresh air and create something beautiful. Planting flowers and keeping the lawn green can be a fun and relaxing activity for people with dementia . And, gardening can be as adaptable and easy-going as you need it to be, depending on your parent’s cognitive and physical limitations.
Sometimes, people with dementia become “stuck” at a specific year or time in life and it can sometimes help to play home movies assuming they are available to bring them back to those moments. They can feel happy and excited, warmed by their memories. You can stimulate an environment where they can talk about their memories and foster interesting conversations as a result.
We hope this post has gotten you thinking about your loved one’s abilities and how to best keep them engaged in their day-to-day life. For a more thorough evaluation of how your loved one is doing, and whether they might benefit from some additional at-home care, take our 5 Minute Home Care Quiz!