As Alzheimer’s progresses and skills and abilities diminish, the person living with the disease may start to suffer from feelings of worthlessness or isolation, expressing their frustration and restlessness with difficult behavior. For those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, finding ways to lessen these feelings can be a struggle.
Keeping a loved one engaged and entertained throughout the day is a crucial part of successful caregiving. When caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease it’s important to help them find ways to express themselves and feel a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small. The types of activities you plan will change as the disease progresses, but with creativity and careful planning, you can discover the best methods for creating engaging days that bring your loved one a sense of purpose, self-worth, joy and normalcy.
Staying mentally and physically active may not slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but it can help to improve motor skills, lessen behaviors like agitation or wandering and, most importantly, enhance your loved one’s quality of life. The AARP.org article, “Activities for People with Alzheimer’s Disease,” says:
There will always be part of that individual who wants to help, participate and succeed. Although as the caregiver you will want to find activities that take into account lost abilities, you should always focus on the person and not the disease. Even if your loved one does not remember the activity, the joy he feels from taking part in a project, big or small, leaves a positive effect and contributes to an overall sense of happiness.
Those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may withdraw from things they used to enjoy and require their caregiver’s encouragement to stay engaged. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it helps to talk with your loved one about their concerns regarding social engagements, pastimes or other activities they stopped pursuing. This will allow you some insight into your loved one’s mind and give you a foundation for planning activities that will keep your loved one happy while making the best of their current abilities.
Not to be confused with mere “busy work,” activities for those with Alzheimer’s should have a purpose – exercise, self-expression, promoting independence, enjoyment, relaxation – anything that will improve your loved one’s quality of life. Remember that as the disease progresses, you may have to simplify tasks and activities, adapting them to your loved one’s current abilities.
When engaging your loved one in an activity, memory care experts suggest the following guidelines for success:
As a caregiver, it’s important to remain patient and encouraging with your loved one. Provide ways to promote self-expression and communication. Involve them in conversation, even if you do most of the talking. Remember not to criticize or correct them, but instead offer to help with more difficult parts of an activity.
An activity is simply anything we do throughout the day, either together or alone, as part of our daily routine or as a break from the normal. Here are just a few examples of activities you can do with your loved one:
At Tuscan Gardens®, we understand how important it is for those living with memory loss to be engaged through daily activities. The belief that each resident’s retained abilities are far more important that what has been lost. We emphasize positive, life-affirming activities and develop personalized programs tailored to each individual’s abilities, likes and interests.
We promote capabilities. We build self-confidence. We bring joy and fulfillment. This program, along with the compassionate support of our team, makes a significant difference in the lives of our residents.
At Tuscan Gardens®, we’ve mastered the art of living well. We’ve perfected the balance of personalized support and an uplifting lifestyle, helping our residents experience independence, joy and meaning every day.
Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.
Luxury, intimacy, opportunity, passion and beauty combine to create what the Italians call sprezzatura – a culture of effortless elegance. The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics, but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.