Seeking purpose, meaning, and joy in the world all around us is extremely important for our wellbeing, and that doesn’t change when a loved one is identified as having Alzheimer’s disease. However, continuing to stay engaged in hobbies and interests can become challenging, because it’s not uncommon for those during the early stages of dementia to withdraw from hobbies that have once been enjoyable.
For family caregivers, helping to reignite that spark through specially designed activities for people with Alzheimer’s disease is key. The following tips should help:
- Determine the senior’s best time of day. If your family member is an early riser but starts to lose energy later on during the day, shape the day’s experiences around that schedule, including taking a morning walk and then working on an activity with each other.
- Bring the past into the present. With long-term memory frequently stronger in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, make use of what the older adult’s life was like during the course of a specific period of time, such as during his or her career, and personalize activities accordingly. As an example, a retired art teacher may want to paint a picture, whereas a homemaker may prefer sorting and folding laundry.
- Ask for help. Letting your loved one know that he or she is needed is a good esteem booster, and vital for self-worth. Ask your senior loved one to assist you in baking some goodies, in whatever means is suitable in line with the stage of the dementia – even if it is merely stirring a bowl of flour and salt together. Or perhaps bring out a toolbox of various nuts and bolts and have the senior help you to sort them.
Through the entire process of engaging in activities, bear the following in mind:
- Set aside plenty of time for the older adult to work at his / her own pace.
- Refrain from “taking over,” but instead offer assistance and supervision as necessary and accepted.
- Give uncomplicated instructions, one step at a time, so as not to ever overwhelm the individual.
- Focus more on the activity itself, instead of an anticipated result.
- Continue being flexible, understanding the senior may all at once decide to change course.
Most importantly, concentrate on the quality time you are spending with your loved one. If a specific activity isn’t intriguing to the senior now, simply enjoy a conversation and reminiscing together, and attempt the activity again at another time.
The knowledgeable dementia care team at Morning Glory Home is thoroughly trained and experienced in creative, effective strategies to help seniors remain active and involved with the world around them, and we are always on hand to supply helpful resources, tips, and the in-home care that families trust.
Contact us via our online contact form, or call us at 618-667-8400 to learn about our top-rated memory care in Greenville and ask about a free in-home consultation. Let us help a cherished older adult discover a renewed zest for life, each day!