Dementia can often cause seniors to withdraw from friends, family, and activities. While there is no cure for dementia, there are numerous things that you or your loved one can to do to treat the symptoms or slow down the process. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s accounts for 50-80% of dementia cases. While memory loss may start out mild in early stages, the disease worsens over time. Eventually, it can restrict a person’s ability to carry on a conversation or even respond to people or surroundings. This is exactly why activities for seniors with dementia are so important. Below are just a few ways that seniors can remain stimulated and have fun despite dealing with dementia.
Activities For Seniors With Dementia
Enjoy Some Music
One of the best activities for seniors with dementia are listening and/or singing along to music. Music highlights many significant moments in life. During birthday celebrations people sing around a candlelit cake, they hug as they watch couples sway to the first dance at their wedding, and during the holidays a familiar carol can all but melt our hearts. These are simple snapshots of how music can draw out reminders of days gone by. Singing along also helps to stimulate the mind by remembering lyrics and formulating the words through speech. Music is a great way for you and your loved one to bond over something you both enjoy while keeping your senior stimulated as well.
Another great way to keep your loved one stimulated is to enjoy the great outdoors. With a variety of sights, sounds, and smells, taking a walk outside will help to stimulate all 5 senses. Not to mention, an activity like taking a walk outdoors is a great way for your loved one to get physical exercise as well. When selecting a nature walk location, try to pick a familiar place that your loved one has spent time in. These various smells and sounds can often retrigger memories and stimulate brain function. Remember, activities for seniors with dementia should stimulate brain function and allow your loved one to feel active both physically and mentally.
Another popular activity for seniors with dementia is a memory game. Print two copies of various photos or images that your older adult likes. It could be photos of favorite animals, beautiful flowers, or family members. Cut them into equal sized cards and laminate using some clear packing tape or contact paper. The cards can be used for a simple sorting game, a matching game, or just nice images to flip through and admire. These images can be used to reminisce on previous memories, or even start conversations with your loved one. Helping to stimulate memory is one of the best things you can do to slow down the effect that dementia can have on your senior. Games like these will hopefully bring you closer together as well as create new memories.
Have a Conversation
One of the simplest activities for seniors with dementia is to get them talking. Striking up a conversation with your loved one can go a long way. It’s been scientifically proven that conversation can help stimulate brain function, so it’s important you to continue to engage with your loved one as often as possible. Whether it’s talking about your day or asking them to recount past memories, holding a conversation on a regular basis with your senior will help to promote brain function and keep his or her mind active.
If you’re looking for more information about memory-specific nursing homes, make sure to check out our extensive list of memory care homes so we can help you find the ideal home for your loved one.