Why Do Dementia Patients Fidget
If a dementia patient is anxious or stressed, you can usually see it in their hands. They are likely to pull at their clothes, wring their hands, rub their skin, or twist their fingers if they are afraid, upset, or agitated. Fidgeting and associated behaviors are how people with dementia deal with their discomfort.
Sensory Activities For People With Dementia
Exercise And Activities To Promote An Active Lifestyle
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Fidget Toys Like Bubble Poppers
Fidget toys are a relatively new thing, mainly among children and pre-teens. But fidget toys can also be a great tool for memory care facilities to use for dexterity therapy. The fidget toys called pop-its are like plastic bubble wrap that require users to push a small round bubble in varying patterns and colors. It is fun and intended to alleviate anxiety in young children and can be just as beneficial for elderly folks with anxiety.
Activities For People With Dementia
It’s important to have thoughtful and specially designed activities for those with Dementia, Alzheimer’s and others who live with similar types of memory loss. At The Alzheimer’s Store we are constantly testing new stimulating activities to help your patient or loved-one remain engaged with the outside world and with each other. Be sure to look at our MUSIC THERAPY category for our music player and other music related items. Choosing activities and entertainment that remind the user of their past interests is key. Whether your loved one enjoys coloring, puzzles, DVDs, music, or working with their hands, you can find a new way to help them celebrate their passion. The Alzheimers Store also carries an assortment of mind-strengthening activity books. Using brainstorming and matching games, you are helping dementia patients exercise their cognitive skills and hold onto cherished memories!
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A Clinical Nurse Educator And A Dietician With Chapters Health System Share Valuable Advice For Families Who Care For A Dementia Patient
Caring for a dementia patient is not easy. Dementia describes a range of neurological conditions affecting the brain and worsens over time. Changes in the brain cause nerve cells to stop working properly and eventually die. As a result, patients lose the ability to remember and think at levels required for daily life. Researchers have linked the changes in the brain to certain forms of dementia, but in most cases the changes causing dementia are unknown.
When caring for a dementia patient, it is important to know the different types of dementia. Alzheimers disease is the most common form. According to the Alzheimers Association, around 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 live with the disease today. This number could increase to 13.8 million in 2060 if no medical breakthroughs are made. Like many forms of dementia, the condition is typically associated with buildups of specific proteins in the brain and a loss of connection among nerve cells.
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Spend Some Time In The Garden
For more time in the sun and fresh air, try a regular gardening routine. A 2021 study looked at the effects of horticultural therapy interacting with plants in myriad ways on the cognitive function of people with dementia. The study included plenty of activities that can be done in a backyard or even with indoor plants: planting, cooking with plants, and making plant-based crafts. Horticultural therapy reduced apathy in dementia patients in just ten weeks.
Joel Flagler, a horticultural therapist and professor at Rutgers University, responded to the study findings: Any time a person reconnects with nature, good feelings and healing can come, he told Being Patient. Its important to remember that the plant doesnt discriminate: The plant doesnt care if the person has dementia, or theyre in a wheelchair, the plant is ready to respond to that person.
Should Dementia Patients Watch Tv
Watching TV is a popular leisure activity for many older people, but it can become a challenge when disturbed by dementia symptoms. It is generally advisable not to allow dementia patients to watch TV unsupervised. However, watching TV with a caregiver or a person close to them can be good for the emotional well-being of the dementia patient.
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Watching Old Tv Shows Or Movies
Although they may not recall specific details, your loved ones favorite movies or tv shows can stir up positive feelings and can be a great activity to do together.
Studies suggest that the best movie to watch for someone with dementia is something fun and upbeat, shorter in length , not violent, and straightforward in plot and number of characters.
Choose a movie that your loved one enjoys and fits those parameters. While you watch, describe the movie or comment on an actor and see if your loved one wants to discuss the film. Movies are more than just a way to fill the day. In fact, they can be a tool to connect with your loved one with dementia and a great activity to enjoy together.
Tips For Choosing The Right Activities For Dementia Patients
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Care Plan For Dementia Patients: Examples Of What It Should Look Like
The advantages of routine memory care show the relevance of dementia care programs.
Daily routines can be beneficial to both the caregiver and dementia patient. A scheduled day allows caregivers to spend less time figuring out what to do and more time doing meaningful and enjoyable things.
Even minor changes to the activity care plan for dementia patients, such as exercising in the morning instead of the afternoon, might cause your loved one to become more stressed. This compounded tension can throw off the schedule, thus causing more compounding stress. Read on to know what care plans for dementia should look like.
Stimulating Memory Care Activities For Dementia Patients
November 17, 2022Comments are Off
Are you struggling to find engaging memory care activities that your loved one with dementia will enjoy? Check out our comprehensive list of memory care activity ideas to find one that best fits your loved ones personality, interests, and skill level.
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Play Old Videos Of Themselves
If youre lucky enough to have wedding videos or other videos of your loved ones before dementia, watching those together can be an enjoyable way to bond and help them remember things about their lives that they have trouble with. Sometimes people with dementia will even just awe at a wedding video and say how beautiful the people in the video are, despite not knowing its themselves. Either way, it sparks joy in them.
Encourage An Emotional Connection
For many people with dementia, a sense of movement and rhythm is often retained. Listening to music, dancing, or contact with babies, children or animals provide positive feelings. People with dementia often have excellent memories of past events, and looking through old photos, memorabilia and books can help the person to recall earlier times.The opportunity to relive treasured moments can be deeply satisfying. If reading skills have deteriorated, make recordings for them. Locate picture books and magazines in the persons areas of interest.
Activities To Do With A Family Member Or Friend Who Has Alzheimers Disease
Its important to spend meaningful time with a family member or friend who has Alzheimers disease or a related dementia. Participating together in activities your loved one enjoys can help improve their quality of life and manage behavior changes that may come with the disease, such as sleep problems, aggression, and agitation. It can also help grow and strengthen your connection. However, it may be difficult to know what activities you can safely do with your loved one.
Explore examples below. You may need to modify these activities based on the persons preferences and abilities.
Types Of Exercise For People With Dementia
If the person used to enjoy a particular form of exercise, such as golf, encourage them to take it up again with your support. Other suggestions include:
- walking this is one of the best all-round exercises, and its free. Walking also helps to work off the restless urge to wander that is typical of Alzheimers patients. Try combining the walk with a useful errand, such as going to the shops for milk or exercising the dog
- cycling a tandem bicycle allows you to sit up front and control the bike, while your passenger sits in the back seat and pedals. If the person with dementia has problems with their balance, you could try hiring a three-wheeled bicycle for them to ride, while you cycle alongside them
- gym work such as treadmills, stationary bicycles and weight machines
- aerobics you could attend classes together or hire appropriate low-impact aerobic workout videos.
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Try Not To Get Your Feelings Hurt
As your loved ones dementia becomes more advanced, they get more confused and forgetful. That means theyll sometimes forget who you are. That doesnt mean they love you any less or forgot all the memories youve shared over the years. The older a memory is, the longer it stays with them.
I read something from the wife of a man with Alzheimers who had a wonderful way of looking at this, said Cramer. She was sitting in a car with her husband who no longer remembered her. She lovingly touched his arm. He pulled away and said Im sorry miss. You are very nice, but I love my wife. Instead of being sad, this filled his wife with joy because he still remembered her.
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For more information, please call our helpful Chapters Health team at 1.866.204.8611 or Contact Us.
Activities That Promote Healthy Eating
- Cook together ask the person about their favorite meal and work together to make it. Or look up healthy cooking videos online and try to make them yourselves.
- Plant vegetables together in the garden or in pots.
- Have a picnic together bring healthy food options the person likes. Bring a portable or camping chair if the person has trouble sitting on the ground.
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How To Keep Dementia Patients Busy
It can be difficult to keep dementia patients busy, especially if they have an advanced form of the condition. However, many activities can help them stay engaged and entertained. Here are some ideas on how to keep dementia patients busy:
- Give them simple tasks: Giving dementia patients simple tasks can help them stay engaged and prevent boredom. Examples of simple tasks include sorting objects, folding laundry, and watering plants.
- Play music: Music can be a great way to keep dementia patients engaged. Playing soothing music can help them relax, while upbeat music can help them stay energized.
- Read aloud: Reading aloud to dementia patients can help them stay engaged and can even help with memory recall.
- Spend time outdoors: Spending time outdoors can help dementia patients stay active and connected to nature. Simple activities like gardening, walking, and bird watching can be enjoyable for them.
- Work on projects: Working on projects can help dementia patients stay busy and productive. Projects that involve sorting and organizing items can help them stay engaged and can help them recall memories.
- Tablets and smartphones: Tablets and smartphones can be a great way to keep dementia patients engaged. There are many apps available that can help them with memory recall, puzzles, dedicated dementia applications and more.
Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
Reminiscing is incredibly meaningful for people with dementia and their families. It can be a fun and joyful experience for older people to meander through memories without the pressure to focus on anything specific. Try looking through a scrapbook or photo album, and seeing what memories come up. Even if youre hearing the same stories repeatedly, try to hold in any frustration or boredom. Psychologist Douwe Draaisma refers to oft-repeated memories as a nostalgia factory, wherein the act of repetition brings pleasure. Some therapists have even begun to develop reminiscence therapy programs to formalize the benefits of thinking back on fond memories.
It can also be comforting for people with dementia to discuss older memories because recent memories have been lost and older memories remain. Dr. Andrew Budson, chief of cognitive and behavioral neurology at Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and professor of neurology at Boston University, explains it as such: Your mother is talking more and more about things that happened long ago, because those are the memories that are the ones that are present for her. The newer memories may have been lost by the Alzheimers process.
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