Dementia Activities Must be Catered to Capabilities
(Salt Lake City, UT)
Activities for Elderly with Dementia
Many of us deal with elderly loved ones who have been diagnosed with some type of dementia.
Finding activities for dementia that promote stimulation without over stimulation can be challenging, depending on the type of dementia as well as the severity or stage that your loved one has been diagnosed with.
In the facility where I work, I have found that many of the dementia patients I work with feel useless. In order to boost their morale and restore their sense of belonging and usefulness, I often have our laundry person bring the towels and washcloths used by the bathhouse so they can sort and fold on one of the activity tables. It's amazing how much fun they have, and it serves to keep them engaged and active.
Another favorite with my residence is button sorting. Over a period of days or weeks, I have staff, family, and visitors bring buttons. After I've gathered about a gallon’s worth, I place the buttons in a basket.
Many people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia are very tactile, so I ask them, one at a time or as a small group, to pull out buttons of a specific color.
This keeps them actively engaged and focused for up to half an hour or more, and the look of pride on their faces when they've emptied the basket of that color always brings them a smile and a sense of accomplishment.
These are just two relatively simple activities for people with dementia can do. When finding ways to keep Mom or Dad engaged, use the imagination and whenever possible, couple that activity with something that makes them feel a sense of accomplishment.