For people living with Dementia, participating in once-loved activities can be challenging. This can produce feelings of loss and frustration for the Dementia patient and those who care for them. By changing the focus to different activities, they can continue to lead a more fulfilling life, despite living with Dementia.
When caring for someone with Dementia, we tend to focus on care that revolves around grooming and rest/sleep patterns. While focusing on those basic activities so much, it is easy to get frustrated with each other and lose the connection that you once had. But your loved one still craves and needs that connection. The daily resistance and frustration can lead to exhaustion.
This is why it is crucial to include activities that provide purpose and leisure in their daily routine. This will help to maintain stronger connections and ensure a better quality of life. As their dementia progresses, you need to be open about the activities they might try. Families often say, “My mom would never enjoy that.” Or “My mom loved to do needlepoint, but I can’t get her to do anything now.”
Sometimes getting someone with dementia to participate has more to do with their care partner’s attitude or approach than their willingness or ability to join in. While they may not be able to do a particular activity any longer, they would love to help. So set up an activity and ask them for their help. Participation is less about what the activity is and more about the feeling of purpose and interaction.
Leisure activities such as Crafts, games, and sensory-based projects can calm and engage your loved one. Engaging in conversation and discussing memories can bring them back to happier times. A great project might be to go through old photos and create photo albums. This keeps them occupied and allows for a stroll down memory lane.
Check out Connectivities Boxes at www.connectivities.us. Connectivities is a creative dementia engagement solution developed by memory care experts. Each month you receive a new box of activities designed to spark purposeful, personal interactions between you and your loved one. As their website says, “We strive to bridge the gap for caregivers, delivering help and hope in every box.
Maintaining a purpose-based routine can reduce boredom and frustration and create opportunities to retain essential skills. Remember to keep an open mind as you engage in activities. It doesn’t matter if their participation is how it used to be; the important thing is that they are contributing.