Taking care of dementia patients can be stressful. Dementia may also cause patients to become withdrawn from their family and friends as the condition progresses.
Engaging them with activities will help them to foster a better relationship with their loved ones as well as to encourage self-expression.
Here are some interesting and stimulating activities that you can engage Dementia patients in for a better quality of life:
Activity #1: Sing songs or play musical instruments together
Research has suggested that music may reach parts of the brains associated with emotions, that communication cannot. So why not sing some songs together to stir up happy memories of your loved ones? Alternatively, you may want to consider signing up for music classes to learn how to play a new instrument. Learning how to play a new instrument can strengthen the coordination between the brain and the hand muscles.
Activity #2: Arts and crafts
It will be great to engage persons with dementia in simple arts and crafts to keep them occupied and allow them to express themselves at the same time. Some examples can be drawing or painting, or simple crafts such as origami. For a minimal mess and reusable craft idea, you can check out the Aquapaint Activity Set, a simple yet fun painting artwork that only requires some water. Each set comes with 4 different images. To further engage them, initiate conversation regarding the picture you are working on.
Aquapaint Activity Set (Days Out)
Activity #3: Work on puzzles
What better way to stimulate the brain and bond with your loved ones than to work on a puzzle together? Be it crossword puzzles, spot-the-difference, word search or even jigsaw puzzles, there are a variety of puzzle-activities for you to choose from! For jigsaw puzzles, you can check out our collection of jigsaw puzzles at The Golden Concepts, where we offer different variants of 11, 13 and 24 pieces.
13-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle Coastal Path
Activity #4: Cooking and baking
Another way to engage with dementia patients is to have a cooking or baking activity with them. You can bake healthy and easy-to-make cookies and cook simple recipes with them. For some ideas of what you can do, check out this link here for easy and aesthetically pleasing food activities you can engage the elderly in.
Activity #5: Go for a stroll
Not in the mood for more tedious activities? Going for a stroll in the park and breathing in the sea breeze can make for a relaxing activity with your loved one. Engaging them in conversations while taking a stroll can be a fun way to bond with them! If your loved ones require assistance while walking, you may consider checking out some of these walking canes that may be of help!
Activity #6: Help with simple household chores
One of the signs of dementia is the inability to perform simple tasks that one could carry out previously. However, it is still advisable to include the individual with dementia to help out with simple household chores such as folding laundry or cleaning the tables. Finishing these manageable tasks may enable them to achieve a sense of accomplishment and it may also simultaneously ease any anxieties that they may be feeling.
Activity #7: Organise an outing to visit local attractions
Staying at home for long periods of time may get very boring. Why not head outside and visit some local places of interest together? Engage the dementia patients with new sights and keep them active at the same time. You may consider going to places such as the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Zoo, and Jurong Bird Park, just to name a few.
For where to bring your elderly parents or relatives, you can check out our blog post on the 10 Elderly-Friendly Attractions in Singapore.
Activity #8: Do simple exercises daily
Engaging in physical activity is a good way to keep both mind and body active, and it is never too late to start. Aim for simple exercises that can be performed daily, such as using the Portable Home Exercise Pedaller, a simple device for your loved ones to keep fit in the comfort of your home, ideal for toning both arm and leg muscles. You may also consider other simple home exercise devices such as the Resistive Exercise Tubing and Ball Hand Exercisers which makes exercising convenient and easy.
Left to right: Portable Home Exercise Pedaller, Resistive Exercise Tubing, Ball Hand Exercisers
Activity #9: Play nostalgic games with them.
Bring back the nostalgia by playing old-school games with your loved ones. Remember Five Stones? The colourful paper ball or even marbles? Play some old-school games with the elderly and you can even create a conversation topic about life in the 60s or 70s. This makes for a fun and nostalgic family time. Not sure where to find these games? You can check out this online store.
Activity #10: Read together
Reading together can be an enjoyable activity for people with dementia. While reading together, you can prompt the elderly by talking about what happened in the book and relating it to his/her life experiences. There are many easy-to-read and visual books available on the market for a good afternoon reading session. Here is one book-series you can consider.
As much as it is important to keep an active lifestyle by engaging patients with dementia with stimulating activities, it is also advisable to maintain a healthy diet.
While it is important to enjoy fun activities together with the Dementia patient, health is still of utmost priority. These activities are not limited to Dementia patients, and can also be enjoyed with your other family members and friends!
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