Finding activities which can be engaging and fun for a senior with dementia tends to be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it may seem overwhelming. Even so, it is extremely important to make certain every day holds opportunities for joy, purpose, and meaning – minimizing the level of frustration and agitation, along with other difficult behaviors and emotions in Alzheimer’s.
The first step is to think through the senior’s past and current interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Then think of approaches to draw on those preferences. We’ve put together some ideas to help you get started:
- Put together a playlist of the older adult’s favorite songs or genre of music, and then dance, sing along, and keep the beat with a tambourine or simply a sealed container of dried rice and beans. Talk about the memories the songs raise.
- Read aloud, choosing stories or articles that are easy to follow and on topics that are interesting for the older adult. For example, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite teams and players, and then speaking about highlights from the past as well.
- Get moving for increased muscle tone and circulation, as well as to help promote daytime wakefulness and improved nighttime sleeping. If weather permits, exercising outdoors is a wonderful way to add in fresh air and vitamin D. Try walks in nature, pointing out the individual birds, flowers, trees, etc. that you pass along the way.
- Try out a variety of tactile art mediums which can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing shells, buttons, dried pasta, etc. into a pattern or shape.
- Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the house. Food preparation offers a range of options, such as washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for cookies. Or ask your senior loved one to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
- Give pet therapy a try. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted dog or cat for the senior to hold or pet. Even though this may seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending time with an animal may be significant.
Our care professionals are knowledgeable in creative ideas to engage older adults of any ability level to make everyday life more fulfilling. Contact Carolina Hearts Home Care, providers of top-rated Rockingham elder care, at 1-855-277-2005 for a reliable care partner today! To learn about each of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Locations Served page.