Specialized care and training strategies can significantly improve the life quality of the elderly who suffer from dementia. It doesn’t matter whether the person lives in a nursing home or receives at home assistance. The appropriate encouraging activities for those with dementia should do the following:
• compensate for lost abilities;
• maintain residual skills instead of learning new ones;
• promote self esteem;
• provide a chance for pleasure, social contact and enjoyment;
• be culturally sensitive.
Different Experiences For Caregivers Caring for Their Love One with Dementia
No two aging Americans with dementia are the same. That means that every caregiving professional must draw upon different experiences when making the care plan with activities. If patients lack assistance from family, their ability for achieving pleasure and purpose is much more difficult.
It goes without saying that the most important thing when planning the activities is to make the seniors with dementia feel successful. It doesn’t matter whether they play the game according to the rules. The important thing here is that they enjoy in these activities.
Keeping people active in interests and hobbies that gave them happy moments and pleasure in the past is of a big importance after a dementia diagnosis. Those activities help the patients in:
• stirring memories,
• encouraging self-expression;
• fostering emotional connection with other people;
• lessening the irritability and anxiety that dementia might bring;
• make people who suffer from it feel more engaged with their life.
Develop a Plan
When creating the plan, the focus should be on activities that means something to the patient; not just some activities that fill time.
– Early to mid stages
Seated exercises, music and dance, tai chi, swimming or indoor bowls are activities that can be modified and practiced at home – through home care or aging in place activities.
– Later stages
Standing up and moving regularly, lying as flat as possible for half an hour every day, sitting unsupported for a few minutes every day, and balancing in a standing position are some of the activities that patients in later stage of dementia should practice.
Singing songs, painting, knitting, gardening, organizing household items, cleaning around the house, reading the newspaper, working on puzzles, watching family videos, and cooking are activities that everyone should try with their loved one. However, people with dementia might resist an activity, and that’s when taking a break is necessary. They must feel comfortable in their senior living world.
Focusing on the process of the activities is what matters. The results are not important at all. It doesn’t matter if your loved one can’t get the puzzle together or he’s making cooking mistakes. What matters the most is that they enjoy the time and feel useful. Failures and mistakes will happen, but make sure your loved one doesn’t feel like failure. Be patient and keep trying.