For those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it can be difficult for them to perform regular everyday tasks and this can lead to boredom. Boredom can be very frustrating for those living with dementia, so it is important that they have a range of activities that engage them and stimulate their brain.
Going out with your loved one is good, especially when communities are working hard to become more dementia-friendly. When there are no COVID-19 restrictions in place, live theatre productions or dementia-friendly cinema screenings are a way to get your loved ones out whilst having fun with social activities.
Smartphones and smart tablets are useful gadgets for those with dementia. There are many different dementia dedicated apps and activities that can help keep your loved one’s brain active and thinking. They can also be used to watch YouTube videos or to video call friends and family when they are unable to visit.
Physical activity and exercise is beneficial for everybody, regardless of their age and their condition but for those with dementia, it can also help them maintain a positive mindset. By encouraging them to exercise regularly, it can have positive effects on their sleep pattern and lower the risk of developing depression. Examples of physical exercise for those with dementia includes walking around local parks, water aerobics and yoga.
If your loved one is a fan of pets but doesn’t have one, animal therapy is a great way to provide brain stimulation for those with dementia. Pets are known to relieve symptoms of depression and stress whilst providing a positive sensory experience and boosting serotonin. A good way to introduce animals to your loved one would be by inviting a family member or a friend to visit with their well-behaved pet. You could also take your loved one to a local farm or animal shelter to see the smaller animals.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Long-term memory is usually stronger for longer for those living with dementia so it can be good to have a conversation with your loved one about their life and what they have done in the past. Some activity ideas could include looking through old videos and photo albums or creating a memory box. Making the box itself is an activity but they can also look through this box at any time to feel connected to their life when they were younger or any previous hobbies that they once had.
Creating recipes, baking and cooking with your loved one is a great way for them to be involved with a practical activity that has the reward of a food treat at the end. This could be something of your choice or even better, their choice. Encouraging them to pick a recipe of their choice can be nostalgic and remind them of good memories.