Activities Can Give Relaxation And Pleasure
It is very important to keep enjoying anything that gives meaning to one’s life or provides a sense of pleasure or relaxation. Many people enjoy creative hobbies such as playing a musical instrument, knitting or painting. Others enjoy social contact, so it is important to keep this up as much as possible. A person with dementia may enjoy an outing even if they may not remember where they have been. What is important is that the moment is enjoyed.
Benefits Of Social Engagement For Seniors
Depression is a common side effect of aging and one of the main reason seniors become depressed is being isolated and lonely. Engagement in social activities can have a positive effect on their cognitive abilities, however, and help them fight against dementia, depression, and Alzheimers.
Several research studies have shown a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults and have suggested that social isolation may have significant adverse effects for older adults.
Socially engaged seniors experience a variety of benefits, including:
Listening To And Understanding Someone With Dementia
Communication is a two-way process. As a carer of someone with dementia, you will probably have to learn to listen more carefully.
You may need to be more aware of non-verbal messages, such as facial expressions and body language. You may have to use more physical contact, such as reassuring pats on the arm, or smile as well as speaking.
Active listening can help:
- use eye contact to look at the person, and encourage them to look at you when either of you are talking
- try not to interrupt them, even if you think you know what they’re saying
- stop what you’re doing so you can give the person your full attention while they speak
- minimise distractions that may get in the way of communication, such as the television or the radio playing too loudly, but always check if it’s OK to do so
- repeat what you heard back to the person and ask if it’s accurate, or ask them to repeat what they said
Page last reviewed: 9 January 2020 Next review due: 9 January 2023
How To Care For Someone With Dementia
As you can see, caring for a dementia patient requires extensive experience and the ability to patiently communicate with the sick person, so as not to provoke ill health. Only real experts in the care of such patients can cope with this task. This is the exact kind of service we offer at All American Home Care. Our nurses and caregiver experts will find the right approach to your beloved family member with dementia, provide proper medical care and help so that you can overcome this difficult period together, and without any psychological problems. Contact us today, and we will be happy to help you and your loved ones!
Hobbies Such As Knitting Or Painting
Caregivers often assume that their loved ones with Alzheimers or dementia have to give up their favorite hobbies such as painting or knitting. However, thats not actually true.
Such hobbies can help give your loved one some much needed stimulation. Activities such as knitting require a lot of concentration and skill. Painting and other artistic activities, on the other hand, allow for self-expression.
You always need to ensure that the activity and tools provided are appropriate for the patient. For instance, knitting needles are often sharp while heavy needles can cause aches and pains if your loved one is also suffering from arthritis.
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Encourage A Feeling That The Activity Is Useful Or Relevant
People need feel productive and useful. Making a contribution by helping out can keep depression at bay and give them an emotional boost.
One way of helping them to engage in an activity is to make it relevant to these essentials.
My 93-year-old aunt still goes in once a week to work at the hospital gift shop where she has volunteered for more than three decades. She looks forward to making someone happy when she delivers flowers and gifts to their room.
Her volunteer position is emotionally rewarding and socially engaging, which is partly why shes still going strong in her nineties.
Communicating And Interacting With People With Dementia
Dr. Rita Armstrong offers valuable advice to help improve communication and provide quality care to a person living with dementia.
As a nurse, the goal is to treat patients with respect, patience, and understanding. For patients with dementia, this is especially necessary. Dementia affects 47.5 million people worldwide. With Americas population continuing to live for longer periods of time, the 33 percent of people ages 85 and older with Alzheimers may not be as rare as one may believe.
Dementia is an umbrella term for conditions involving cognitive impairmentwith symptoms that include memory loss, personality changes, and issues with language, communication, and thinking. More than 60 percent of dementia cases are people with Alzheimers. With improvements in health and people tending to live longer, loved ones can expect care costs to reach as high as $1 trillion by 2030.
I have been on both sides of the fence in talking about dementia. I have taken care of patients with dementia and Alzheimers as a nurse, and I recently took care of my dad who also had dementia. Communication and how a person interacts with people who have dementia is vital to patient care outcomes. Sometimes we do not realize what we say or how we say things that can trigger distress behaviors, which makes it even more difficult to give quality care to a person living with dementia.
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Prepare A Safe Working Area
People with dementia often have difficulty with visual perception and coordination. Ensure that surfaces are uncluttered with few distractions and noise. Good lighting, without glare, individual seat preferences and correct work heights are all important. If necessary, using plastic containers might help to avoid breakages.
What Activities Work For People With Advanced Dementia Some Practical Suggestions
Sarah Zoutwelle-Morris is a visual artist living in Holland. She describes a range of different practical activities which might hold the interest or attention of a person in the later stages of dementia:
- Tapping, patting: make a rhythmic noise together on the table using a stick or spoon, following each others rhythms
- Stroking: massage someones hands with scented cream or oil, giving them a chance to do the same to you if they want pet a live or stuffed animal, or smooth a cloth on a flat surface or the persons lap
- Pressing: press glued paper down so it stays in place stamp with block print or a rubber stamp press the flat of your hand to theirs, gently giving and resisting in turn, taking your clues from them
- Pulling: pull the wrapping paper off a package, pull clothes off a doll, or pull on a thick cord with knots
- Folding: fold dish towels, clothes, bed linens, paper, newspaper, clay or dough.
- Pick at: peeling paper, a torn out hem, little threads make a yarn card with easy knots to untie or things to pull through loops, or unravel a ball of wool
- Wrapping, concealing: dress a doll or stuffed animal wrap an object in cloth or string, or wrap a present.
Also Check: Color For Alzheimers
Reminiscing Activities For Dementia Patients At Home
Reminiscence therapy uses sensory or visual cues from the past to help seniors reconnect with positive memories. Instead of asking direct questions that could be confusing or stressful, try gentle guidance. For example, if youre looking at childhood photos, ask generally about growing up rather than where an image was taken.
Exercise And Activities To Promote An Active Lifestyle
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Tips For Choosing The Right Activities For Dementia Patients
Coma Work: An Example
Rosemary Clarke attended a course on coma work and found it to have amazing benefits in her caring role with her mother. In an article for the Journal of Dementia Care, Rosemary describes how she learnt to sit very close to her mother so she could talk into her ear. She would pay attention to what her mother might be doing, for example, she would be chewing or moving one finger a tiny bit or sighing. She would then focus on one of these activities and support her mother to go with that impulse, to give it its fullest expression. She would therefore encourage her chewing with thats good, you really chew it or thats fine, you chew it over.
Sometimes Rosemary would respond to her mothers moving finger by having a finger dance with her own index finger, talking to each other through applying pressure from the finger whether slow and soft or firm and persistent. All the time Rosemary would be giving verbal encouragement What an energetic/busy/strong finger!, This is lovely, our fingers are talking.
As a result of this approach, Rosemary describes how her mother started to speak more often than she had before, sometimes with words and sometimes with sounds. On one occasion, even before Rosemary had sat down beside her, she looked up and said hello darling .
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Sensory Activities For Dementia Patients
- Things with zippers or velcro closures
- Little toys that wind up
- Stress balls for squeezing
Exercise And Outdoor Activities
Social And Emotional Activities For Dementia Patients
What you need for this activity:
- 10 pairs of wooden shapes such as cubes, rectangular cubes, prisms, spheres, and eggs
- A cloth bag
Start by spending a few moments having the person look and feel each shape.
Have them observe the different forms each shape takes on when placed down on a different side. Once theyre familiar with the shapes, you can move on to activities that involve touch.
Place the cubes and rectangular cubes inside the bag, and ask the person to reach in and feel one shape. As they pull the shape out of the bag, they verbally say whether the shape is a cube or a rectangle.
You can also play a matching game with the person in your care by placing all of the wooden shapes in the bag, and have the person find matching pieces by feel. Repeat this process until all of the pieces have been paired.
Placing the objects in the bag eliminates distractions and stimulates the sense of touch, while the matching process helps to strengthen cognitive function. – Activities & Games for Dementia and Alzheimers Patients, Elizz Twitter:
Types Of Exercise For People With Dementia
- 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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