Tuesday Tips for Caregivers – Adapting an Alzheimer’s Patient’s Skills Set to Their Daily Activities
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to keep your loved one engaged in stimulating activities. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, patients are known to stray away from familiar activities and hobbies. As a caregiver, you want to remain optimistic towards your loved one and keep the interest in their hobbies thriving. Keep an open mind and stay connected with your loved one, as their abilities may change.
Use the following steps to adjust activities to suite your loved ones needs:
1. Pay attention to what your loved one enjoys. Rather than introducing a new activity, try playing card, trivia style, craft, or board games that you know the patient has enjoyed in the past.
2. Keep their skill set in mind. As the disease progresses, it is likely that you will notice a change in their skill level.
3. Adjust activities to their mood. If your loved one has had a restless night and has not been very active today, we would recommend a small activity, “13 Minutes tops”. Two minutes to prepare yourself before the activity, 10 minutes for the activity, and one minute after to gather all of your thoughts and experiences. Do not push the patient to do an activity for a longer period of time, especially if they are lethargic and uninterested.
4. Be mindful of physical difficulties. For example, if your loved one has a hard time seeing at a distance, you wouldn’t want to play a game of toss.
5. Remember, it is in the doing, not the result. Every activity spent with your loved one should not focus on an end result but the enjoyment of doing the activity together.
It is imperative for you and your loved one, that you continue activities, hobbies, and interests as a fulfilling activity, not a chore.
Stay in tune with your surroundings and your loved ones changes to ensure a happy outcome. When an Alzheimer’s needs are met throughout the day, you will find them having less and less restless nights and more rewarding days.