Activities for Your Loved One, Part One
Caring for a loved one can be tiresome, especially if you are trying to think of ways to spend quality time with them. You may constantly hear that engaging your loved one in stimulating activities can be helpful to manage difficult behaviors and improve their mood. This is correct, but what sorts of things should you be doing with your loved one? This will depend on the status of your loved one’s condition, their physical capabilities, and, of course, their own unique preferences and interests. Below, we will provide just some ideas to help you brainstorm ways to spend quality time with your loved one.
If your loved one has Alzheimer’s, for example, then finding light activities to do throughout the day can help your loved one establish a routine throughout the day, which can consequently manage their mood, promote positive behaviors, and establish a healthy sleep schedule.
Here are some ideas:
- Organize the house: Try to find easy-to-do chores that do not require much physical exertion. This can mean making the bed, putting away dishes, folding laundry, etc. This activity sounds boring but is actually good because it allows your loved one to feel productive. Also, these tasks can be completed easily. Completing tasks can be hard for some dementia patients because the illness impacts their short term memory. By allowing your loved one to help around the house, it can boost their self esteem and mood.
- Garden: If you tend a garden, invite your loved one outside to help. Being outside and in the sun (for short periods of time) can be extremely beneficial for both physical and mental health.
- Bake: Try to find something to bake that your loved one likes to eat. Organize the recipe into tasks that can be completed between you and your loved one. At the end of this process, you’ll have something delicious to eat. Also, baking and cooking are very mentally stimulating processes involving a lot of sensory experiences: visual, olfactory, tactile, auditory, and eventually taste!
- Listen to music: Find your loved one’s favorite genre of music and play their favorite CD. Music has profound benefits on the minds of human, and this fact is no different for people with dementia. In fact, listening to music can help those with dementia improve their mood and decrease anxiety. It also helps stimulate recalling memories.
- Exercise: Go on walks through the park or around the neighborhood. If your loved one is unable to walk, then you should still encourage outdoor activities even if your loved one is in a wheelchair or any other device. In this case, you will just have to help them navigate the outdoors.
- Puzzles: Puzzles are a stimulating process as it forces you to think and produce a beautiful result. You may have to guide your loved one at times, but it is a fun activity—even if you don’t finish!
- Talk to them about their past: You will be amazed how individuals with dementia can often recall events from long ago. Recalling memories and engaging in conversations are also mentally stimulating activities. So ask your loved one about events in the past and allow them to go on and on.
If any of these activities resonated with you, then try them out. If you think you want to come up with some thing on your own, then always remember that you should consider your loved one’s interest and their level of ability. If you have any questions, contact ElderCare at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.