A woman spends time with her older mother putting together a puzzle. This and other activities can help create a sense of self-worth with dementia.

What is it that gets you out of bed each morning? Most of us have a long to-do list that drives us to begin the day. As much as we might wish we could keep hitting the snooze button, having a sense of purpose is imperative to our health. That is true for a person with dementia as well.

When caring for a person with dementia, it is natural to want to do whatever you can for the person. Although the intentions behind this way of thinking are to help make life better and simpler, it may have the reverse effect. It is important to encourage the individual to keep tackling tasks and take part in enjoyable activities, even if it means a bit of additional time and patience from you.

What Are Some Good Activities to Instill a Sense of Self-Worth With Dementia?

There are a number of activities that help create a sense of self-worth with dementia. It starts with activities of day-to-day living, the things we hardly give a second thought to: taking a bath or shower, getting dressed, preparing and eating meals. But imagine having these daily tasks taken over by someone else. How might it change the way you view yourself?

With some modifications and support, a loved one in the early and middle stages of dementia can still complete 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 edge of the sink so that they can brush independently.
  • Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is no longer possible, think through which steps the person can still complete: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
  • Buttons and zippers are too cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled on and off more easily.

In addition, you’ll want to ensure there are a variety of fun and engaging activities for the person to experience each day too. Base these activities on their current and/or past hobbies. Consider:

  • Ability-appropriate puzzles and games
  • Taking a daily walk around the block or in the yard, enjoying nature and chatting with neighbors
  • Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together, or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
  • Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if needed
  • Sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders

The home care experts at Morning Glory Home Care are trained in innovative approaches that make every day the very best it can be. Get in touch with us online or call us at 618-667-8400 for more information about how our dementia care services in Highland, Belleville, Edwardsville, and the nearby communities can improve life for someone you love.