Activities for Elders with Dementia
(Santa Fe, NM)
Activities for Elderly with Dementia
It's often not easy to encourage elders with dementia to engage in activities and crafts, but whenever possible, try to convince a loved one to get involved. When a person is diagnosed with dementia, they tend to want to back away from engaging in activities they used to like.
Convince your loved ones that they don't have to give up doing those activities. So many can be modified depending on cognitive ability, dexterity, and focus. As a matter of fact, activities are great in reducing a number of dementia-related behaviors such as agitation and wandering.
When choosing activities for elders with dementia, it's always important to cater the crafts or activity to your loved one’s abilities or skills. Make sure you're aware of what he or she likes to do, and always be aware of physical limitations, lack of coordination, or tremors that may make certain crafts or activities frustrating.
I've learned that by focusing on the joy that can be gained from a craft and not necessarily the result is beneficial. Whenever possible, choose an activity that will maintain and coincide with the current talents and skills that your loved one retains. Be willing to modify crafts, tools, and approaches based on limitations.
Remember that not everyone will react to physical or mental illnesses the same way. It's up to you to be aware of the limitations of your loved one. Choose crafts that will be fun and enjoyable, not frustrating and aggravating.