Assistance for someone with dementia can be a difficult task. However, there are many things you can do to help ease the load.
The disease may seem daunting to have to deal with; however, with the right attitude, approach, and advice, you can help your loved one maintain their independence and enjoy a quality of life – and one of the best ways to do this is to get them engaged in hobbies, both new and old.
Of course, depending on what stage of dementia they suffer and what level of memory loss they have already endured, the kinds of activities they can do may differ. Still, so long as the activities you suggest are dementia-friendly, fun, and they can enjoy them safely and without getting frustrated, you can’t really go wrong. To help you come up with a few ideas for your loved one who is suffering from dementia, here are several hobbies that they might enjoy.
- Team sports
- Any aerobic exercise
There are many forms of exercises a dementia patient can do – and most of them can boost their mental and physical health. It’s even been suggested that a brisk walk can help slow down the symptoms of dementia, as well as going out to see and engage with other people.
There are even dementia groups that patients can join that are there to offer social interaction, fun activities, days out, and support for both the patient and their carers. Ultimately, socializing, hobbies, and entertainment should always be a part of your loved one’s dementia care plan because these are vital in maintaining their emotional wellbeing and keeping their minds active.
Reading is a hobby many older people take up. It can be mentally stimulating, keeping their brains functioning and their minds engaged. Even if a dementia patient has forgotten what they have read, re-reading will still be beneficial, and it is extremely encouraged.
They don’t have to be reading complicated novels to reap the benefits of reading either; even just scouring a magazine or the newspaper can do wonders. The newspaper will also help them to stay in the loop of current topics and keep them up to date with current affairs – you could even read the news together and discuss the daily happenings afterward, which is a great way to keep their brain cogs turning.
If your loved one doesn’t particularly care for reading, books that are more visually entertaining, like picture books and comics, can also work well. Even better, buy them a comic they might have read as a child; this might spark happy memories from their childhood and make them feel young again!
Just like reading, puzzles are mentally stimulating and help people focus on one thing at once, improving concentration while also being entertaining.
With this in mind, here are some puzzles you can suggest to your loved one:
- Word search
- Memory games
Furthermore, getting them to participate in group games can help with their cognitive functions. This can maintain a good social life with others, especially if they are in residential care.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts come in lots of different forms – be they painting, drawing, sewing, knitting, and numerous others. Also, one of the best things about arts and crafts is that the exact activity doesn’t really matter – whatever it is they’re making or creating, it’s the process that’s stimulating and entertaining, sparking creativity and enjoyment that results in a joyful end product they’ll love and be proud of.