Keeping seniors with dementia engaged and active help them a great deal. There are certain daily activities that prove beneficial to their cognitive and physical health. It’s important to provide a sense of routine and structure to seniors living with dementia.
These activities not only help maintain physical and cognitive function, but these also give seniors a sense of security and control. This is especially true for seniors who are in the early stages of dementia. Such activities help them stay calm and control their anxiety or any aggressive behaviors.
Some of these activities include games, art and music, outdoor activities and exercise, and setting a daily routine.
Games keep the mind active and busy. They require certain cognitive functions that aid in memory enhancement. There are many games that can help seniors with dementia. These include the following:
- Board games can help a person with dementia focus. Think of these games as a way of exercising the mind. Start with simple games like Ludo or Snakes and Ladders to help the person gain confidence.
- Do a puzzle. Help the senior solve a puzzle. Studies show that puzzles help improve the memory of seniors with dementia. Puzzles help delay the decline and symptoms. Similarly, completing a crossword is also beneficial.
- Routinely play a card matching game. There are studies that show that matching games help improve cognitive skills, which include concentration, hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and memory
- Bingo is another game suited for seniors and people with dementia. It’s an age-appropriate game that is easy to play. It’s a fun game that involves distinguishing numbers, and matching shapes and colors, which can be beneficial to the senior’s cognitive skills.
Art and Music
We have heard of the therapeutic effects of art and music. They can ease the stress and anxiety of the senior. They also aid in bringing back certain memories and in keeping the mind and imagination active.
- Play the senior’s favorite songs. Listening to their favorite tunes bring back certain memories. Such songs can also keep them calm and relaxed.
- Engage them in arts and crafts activities. These can include simple knitting, or making collages from newspapers and magazines. Similarly, you can help them string beads of jewelery.
- Let them paint. Eases anxiety and depression, improves mood, and boosts cognition. Through art, they can express themselves and communicate with people in ways they cannot do with words.
- Playing with PlayDoh. This game for kids is also helpful for seniors with Dementia. It’s a fun and relaxing game. Create shapes or use cookie cutters in creating objects out of a modelling clay or PlayDoh.
Outdoor Activities and Exercise
Physical activities are not only beneficial to the body, but the emotion and mind as well. Some activities that you can try for seniors are:
- Gardening is a simple yet helpful task to keep the people with dementia engaged and active. Digging a garden, weeding, or simply watching the flowers bloom can help improve one’s mood.
- Seniors can try cardio-based activities like walking or riding a bike (but with assistance). These activities increase blood flood and oxygen circulation to the brain.
- Get them dancing. It’s great for seniors to just move about and socialize. Teach them how to dance and just keep them engaged. Make it fun and enjoyable for them.
- Chair exercises and yoga are also great for seniors.
Establishing daily routines can help seniors cope with dementia. When things are kept familiar, they can associate with them. Patterns and routines are great for enhancing one’s mental health. These include visiting a familiar or favorite place, relating certain activities to former “work” life, talking about the past, sorting items, cooking or baking, caring for a pet, and other activities.
The idea is to keep the seniors active, physically and mentally. These simple activities will help them battle the physical, mental, social, emotional, and other effects of dementia. If you need help with your loved one with dementia, you can look online for help and you will find a reliable such as At Home Care Service located in San Diego.