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My Elderly Parent Has Dementia: What Activities Can We Do?

Posted by Vanessa Keng on

Caregivers for the elderly with dementia often find that coming up with activities for the elder can require much thought and effort. But they are vital to your parent's health and well-being. Creating activities can really be quite simple if you follow some general guidelines.

Create Meaningful Activities

  • Consider their interest

    • Depending on how severe your parent's dementia is or their stage of Alzheimer's, activities can vary; however, designing activities that involve their past interest are of the utmost importance. For example, if they love to garden, foster that passion with stimulating gardening activities.

    • What if your parent does not have either the physical or cognitive capability to engage in activities they once loved? Beth Kallmyer, Director of Family and Information Services for the Alzheimer's Association, recommends adjusting activities to fit their abilities. If your parent loved gardening but no longer has the mental ability to engage in it independently, consider assisting them or simplifying the activity. You can go outside with them and do planting and gardening together, or you can bring a few pots with seeds inside the house for your parent to water daily.

    • Try to make activities meaningful, rather than ones aimed at simply passing time. Even though your parent may not remember different activities they do, he or she will simply enjoy the moment. It contributes to their general happiness.

  • Reestablish old routines 

    • It is very common for seniors to feel as if they have lost their sense of purpose. Design activities that you and your parent can do together and that will make them feel needed and useful. Many things people do are habitual – for example, washing dishes, folding laundry or taking out the trash.

    • Your parent's ability may not be what it once was, but giving them a small task that they are able to accomplish independently or helping you with a more complicated task will create a safe sense of purpose for them.

 

By Emilee Seltzer

Article quoted from www.agingcare.com


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