Let’s get one thing straight, caring for someone with dementia is definitely a difficult task. It requires constant learning for you to keep pace with the changes your loved one is facing every day. Part of this learning experience requires caregivers to find interactive ways to keep their loved ones’ days and minds full of positive activity. A successful strategy to help improve this is to approach it with less of a casual “what are we going to do today?” plan and more of a structured and thought-out plan. This will allow for structure in your loved one’s life and more structure leads to less agitation and frustration and a more enjoyable day for all parties. To be successful at routine we like to focus these activities around the idea that they can be done year round and have variety. This is key for cognitive and physical stimulation, which is extremely beneficial for someone who has any form of dementia.
Here are four simple things you can do:
Exploring what is in your own backyard is a great way to stimulate some fun around your home. It can be as simple as watching what birds make their way to your neck of the woods or taking the opportunity to engage in some art therapy by creating your own bird feeders to have a more personal experience while bird watching.
Planting house plants or making a small garden in your home are simple and routine tasks that you can do with your loved one. It can require daily upkeep and is not particularly physically demanding. It’s also a great way to give your home some life!
Something we’ve tried at MPHC with our dementia-care clients is a meal-planning and cooking schedule. This benefits everyone in the home care situation and offers patients the chance to be involved in their own care. It also engages your loved one in more in-house activities that they can later enjoy.
Music is another fantastic form of therapy that offers lots of benefits. We know that sometimes those suffering from dementia will sing or dance when they are expressing different emotions. This can start with listening to some of their favourite music and grow into them playing some simple musical instrument or engaging in a dance session that everyone can enjoy! This can be done indoors or outdoors, weather dependent.
Looking for assistance caring for a loved one with dementia? My Place Home Care has employees who specialize in dementia and Alzheimer’s care and are committed to providing the best possible support to our clients and their families. Contact us today to learn more.