What is it that gets you up out of bed in the morning? Most of us have an extensive list of to-dos that drives us to get started on the day. As much as we might wish we could keep hitting the snooze button, having a feeling of purpose is in fact imperative to our health. That is true for somebody with dementia too.
When caring for a loved one with dementia, it is natural to want to do as much as possible for the individual. Although the motives behind that line of thought are to help make life better and simpler, it may have the exact opposite effect. It’s essential to build self-confidence in a loved one with dementia, empowering them to continue to tackle tasks and take part in purposeful activities, even if it means a bit of extra time and patience from you.
What Are Some Good Activities for Someone With Dementia?
There is an endless list of activities suitable for someone with dementia. It starts with activities of daily living, the things we barely think twice about: prepping and eating meals, taking a shower or bath, and getting dressed. But imagine having these daily tasks totally taken over by another person. What would it do to your self-esteem?
With some modifications and support, someone in the early and middle stages of dementia can still accomplish these activities. As an example, if:
- Removing the toothpaste cap and squeezing the right amount onto the toothbrush is challenging, take care of that step for the person, leaving the toothbrush on the side of the sink to enable them to brush independently.
- Buttons and zippers are extremely cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled on and off more easily.
- Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is no longer possible, consider which steps the person can still accomplish: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
Additionally, you will want to be sure there are many fun and engaging activities for the person to enjoy throughout the day as well. Base these activities on their current and/or past interests. Consider:
- Ability-appropriate games and puzzles
- Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if needed
- Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together, or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
- Sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders
- Taking a daily walk around the block or in the yard, enjoying nature and chatting with neighbors
Want more tips for how to boost self-confidence in a loved one with dementia? The home care experts at Abby Senior Care are trained in creative techniques that make each day the very best it can be. Reach out to us at 303-699-8840 or contact us online to learn more about how our dementia care services in Aurora, Denver, Littleton, and the surrounding communities can improve life for someone you love.