Whether your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of progressive dementia, or has survived a stroke and is showing signs of vascular dementia, or is merely progressing in age, it is important for individuals to stay active. Highlighted by recent findings associating social isolation and depression with higher risk of both onset of dementia, as well as higher death risk, it is imperative that we assist our aging loved ones and encourage daily activity. Unfortunately, as disease’s progress, standard activities become increasingly more challenging, however, there are alternatives. Regardless of the scenario, it is important for caregivers to stay involved, and always adapt to the changing issues our loved ones face.

Everyone person differs, and may enjoy much different activities. Make day to day life more exciting and interesting for your loved one, as well as yourself.
-William Zagorski | Executive Director | Centennial Adultcare Center

In general, follow some of these guidelines when thinking of activities for someone with dementia.
First and foremost, know your loved one’s skills and abilities when coming up with activities. Play to their strengths.

  • Keep your ideas simple, avoid complications and distractions.
  • Aim for success and avoid the possibility of failure in every activity.
  • Make the activity meaningful, and utilize past memories or hobbies.
  • Use both verbal and visual cues for instructions and assistance.
  • Keep it safe, and be ready with an alternative if it is not successful.
  • Establish a routine and stick with it.

The above guidelines are merely a framework to weave ideas around. Everyone person differs, and may enjoy much different activities. Make day to day life more exciting and interesting for your loved one, as well as yourself. Below are a few activities to use a base to build more personal activities on.

  • Arts, crafts, and hobbies: Puzzles, knitting, gardening, listening to music, drawing, painting, coloring, or anything else they had, or may find enjoyable.
  • Exercise: Walking, hiking, swimming, yoga, or anything else to get those muscles moving the best you can!
  • Games: Horseshoes, cards, board games, trivia, sports games, etc. remember to keep it simple and successful!
  • Daily chores: Turn daily activities into something to be fun. Cook and clean together. Folding clothes or sweeping the floor can be a great time to break into a song or dance!
  • Reminisce: Talk about the past as if it were still in the present. Long-term memories remain much longer that most imagine. Look at old photo albums, and listen to the music of each of your pasts.
  • Pets: Visit a friend with a pet, or a local shelter or pet store. Many times, animals bring out smiles and joy in even the most depressed and isolated individuals.
  • Volunteer: Helping others and volunteering can give a sense of pride and assistance to individuals even in the case of dementia. Participate in support groups to pass on what has, and hasn’t worked for you as well!

In any case, remember to keep it simple and successful to avoid adding to any frustrations of lost abilities. Involve as many senses as possible both in the games, as well as in the instruction. For more information on games and activities we use each and every day at Centennial Adultcare Center, call us at (615) 383-3399, or contact us today!