If you have a friend or relative with dementia, it’s important to help them stay active. By keeping them engaged with empowering activities, you can help them to enjoy a better quality of life while even improving the bond between you.
Ideally, you want to find meaningful activities that they enjoy doing, but this can involve a bit of trial and error. Here are a few good options you could consider.
Did they have any hobbies before they started to be affected by dementia? This can be a great starting point as they will already have some skills and you know they have enjoyed the activity in the past.
It’s essential to enjoy social contact, so try to make some time to visit a club, play bingo, visit friends in their homes or go to a cafe. Get them out and about so they can enjoy some social interaction.
Gentle Physical Exercise
Some older adults will be more capable than others when it comes to physical exercise, so choose activities based on their fitness level.
Going for a gentle walk is a great option, or you could try dance classes, yoga or even water aerobics. They may need a walker to help them get out and about, so this is worth considering.
Engage in Discussions
Merely talking to someone with dementia is a good activity. Engage them and help them to remember old memories, using a photo album if it helps. Talk about things they used to enjoy discussing and see if it helps. This can also be a great way to strengthen the bond between you.
Cooking is an excellent activity because it can give them a sense of achievement. Simply preparing breakfast together can be great, or you could try baking a cake. You also get something to enjoy at the end, making it even more rewarding. If they struggle in the kitchen, consider getting them some food preparation aids to help.
Listen to Music
Music can be soothing and stimulating while helping to trigger memories and connect with the past. If they have any favourite musicians, find some CDs and listen together.
Tips to Keep in Mind when Planning Activities
These are some suggestions that you may want to try out, but make sure you keep a few things in mind when you are choosing activities.
You will have to adapt your activities according to their personality. Are they an introvert or an extrovert? Do they enjoy group activities, or do they prefer doing things on their own?
Help to make them feel valued by asking for their help. You could ask them to help tidy up or to sort out some magazines, then thank them for their support. This can help them to feel valued, which can empower them more.
Also, keep reviewing the activities you are doing and change them up if you need to. Don’t try and force them to do anything, and always look out for signs that they are becoming frustrated.
Try Different Activities
These are some ideas for empowering activities for your elderly friend or relative with dementia. Regularly completing a selection of these can help them to feel more self-worth, boost their confidence and improve their quality of life. So, start trying out some activities and have fun. If you’re ever in need of assistance, consider us here at Felgains – we’re here to help. Send us a message or call our advice line for any information in regard to our services on 01473 741144.