Five Amazing Activities that Help with Dementia

May 16, 2018

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

 

A life without constant accomplishment of meaningful daily tasks definitely takes a toll on us in the long run as most times these little accomplishments are the things that make us feel human and alive. Although the cognitive capabilities of people living with dementia may experience a major decline over time, it doesn’t diminish the need for personal fulfilment in the patients.

You really do not need a great memory to have a good, fulfilled life as each day provides opportunities for us to derive pleasure. With the assistance of close family and friends, people living with dementia can still live a purpose-filled life. This can be achieved by careful selection of important and fun activities that they can partake in to give them a sense of fulfilment daily. In this post, we will shed more light on five amazing everyday activities that people living with dementia could partake in.

Let’s get started

Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are a great play tool for dementia patients and this is because it aids in pattern recognition and boosts concentration. The key however with this puzzle is to use one that has enough pieces to be a good challenge but not so complex so that they don’t feel overwhelmed. It might help to assist them with the placement of the pieces but also give them the space they need so they can appreciate their own efforts.

Jewelry box exploration

This activity will be appreciated by the females more than the males. A lot of people have great memories of looking through a jewelry box and if this is something the patient loved, chances are he/she will still appreciate the activity. Also, you should try to factor in your patient’s individual preferences and capabilities while organizing this activity.

Word Games

A lot of people tend to think this activity might be a little too challenging for patients but truth is, it is an amazing way to put their brains to work and keep their minds active. There are simple crossword puzzles in every newspaper and all you have to do is give them a pencil and maybe a glass of water.

Looking through old photos

Placing familiar objects and photos around the patient is a great way to reminisce and can give them a sense of calm and innate happiness. This is because whether they remember or not, they will feel safe and at peace with certain people and objects around. What’s more? It is a great way to get them to activate the neural pathways that are concerned with memory.

Dancing

You might think that only cognition-enabling activities can help with dementia; however, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine carries proof that dancing is the only physical activity that is beneficial to people living with dementia. It is believed that this activity is beneficial as it engages the brain and body all at once through co-ordination and a recall of steps.

How do these activities help? What are the tangible benefits of undertaking them with your loved one if you are a caretaker for someone with dementia? The following effects are entirely attainable:

  • Fostering emotional connections.
  • Stirring and reliving memories.
  • Decreasing irritability and general anxiety that accompany dementia and related syndromes.

Conclusively, dementia isn’t always easy to manage and can be a painful experience to witness. However, it is proven that keeping the body and mind as active as you can go a long way to help the patients live better and more fulfilled lives.

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