Keeping Activities for Dementia Going
Community Involvement When Community Events are Canceled
We have been isolated for months, and it will take time for things get back to normal. All of our usual hobbies and groups, especially the activities for dementia patients, have been put on hold.
But, do we know the toll that is taking? No. And like with many other social programs, it’ll be years before we know the actual ramifications of what the shutdowns mean.
Right now, you’re probably noticing that taking care of your family member with dementia is becoming more demanding, as memories of being able to do things and being able to get out becomes confusing and frustrating.
There are things you can do, and they just take a little creativity.
Being Shut In And Helping Your Loved Ones Understand What Is Happening
In most states, the stay-at-home orders keep getting extended time and time again. In some places, we see at least a year before things can change.
As your family member with dementia becomes worse, finding activities that keep them stimulated may be more challenging. You may have to come up with individual programs on your own to provide those activities. It’s a tricky balancing act, one that has no easy answer.
The most significant change would be the disruption routine of going someplace on a weekly basis. Discontinuing that activity can be complex. The same thing goes with groups and hobbies they may have been part of. Many senior centers are on a restricted schedule, if they are open at all.
And, unfortunately, the extra steps used for caring for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s tend to be the first things cut during restricted times.
How Recreating Activities For Dementia Patients Helps Them
Recreating dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers’ activities help keep them on established routines that are vital for their health. Many seniors find safety in their routines, allowing them to remain calm when their memories begin failing.
The level of care and stimulation will depend on the severity of the dementia. While those who suffer the most will find the change in routine the hardest, they may not recognize the change’s significance.
Conversely, those with mild to moderate symptoms may find they understand the change, but habits of a lifetime may cause them to seek out activities and habits long established. The safety they find in their routines, the ones now missing, may require the most planning.
Reducing The Fear Of Being Locked In
For many people with dementia, the overriding fear is being locked away and forgotten, and this is quite understandable. And unfortunately, with the lockdowns in place and stay at home orders, your family member might not understand the difference between them locked in because of dementia and everybody locked in because of the virus.
Establishing good routines that remind your loved ones of their daily activities will help keep the connection with their past alive while maintaining good mental and memory stimulation.
This memory stimulation is vital. The more you can get your family member to remember, play games, and do activities that make them think, the longer they will have healthy brain function. It also gives them the challenge to think about their activities as ways of combating boredom and depression.
Local services for people with dementia and seniors vary from location to location. Many local libraries and senior centers are broadcasting their activities online to help combat boredom at home. Daily games, bingo, exercise programs, and joint TV and movie watching sessions have become more available.
Programs through AARP, the Alzheimer’s Society, and other organizations are broadcast free to members to help increase activity and memory stimulation. They also have resources to help establish specific routines and games at home, as we do under the resources.
Keeping your family with Alzheimer’s or dementia stimulated is one of the keys to keeping them healthy in the long term. Your activities for dementia care is one way to make sure your loved one follows their routines, keeps engaged in everyday activities, and combats rapid progression of memory loss. We recommend checking out some of the resources we have through this site to help keep your family member healthy and active.