What Should You Do When Introducing New Activities to a Senior with Dementia?

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Introducing New Activities to a Senior with Dementia in Des Moines, IA

It’s vitally important that seniors in the early stages of dementia be encouraged to engage in meaningful, mentally stimulating activities. Participating in these types of activities can enhance quality of life, relieve depression, and slow the progression of the disease. Here are a few tips for helping your senior loved one with dementia enjoy new activities. Because some of the symptoms of dementia can leave seniors feeling agitated, frustrated, and even afraid, it’s important to pick activities with the following qualities.

Make Sure Activities Are Appropriate for Your Loved One’s Current Abilities

For seniors with dementia to enjoy a new activity, it must be appropriate for their cognitive level. While it’s important to pick activities that aren’t too complicated, keep in mind that if the proposed activity is too simple and childish, your loved one may become offended or bored. Additionally, many seniors in the early stages of dementia are afraid to try new activities for fear their condition will cause them to appear foolish. Always provide emotional support to help your loved one feel at ease. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Des Moines Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

The Activities Should Also Be Focused Around Your Loved One’s Interests

Any proposed activity also has to be of interest to your loved one. Consider your loved one’s prior hobbies, interests, and occupation when developing a new activity. From gardening to playing video games, there’s a wealth of options for seniors that can boost their brain health. You may even want to get the family involved in the chosen activity. Familiar faces and laughter can lift your loved one’s spirits and boost his or her quality of life. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

It’s Important to Try Activities that Are Structured and Easy to Follow

One of the earliest symptoms of dementia is the inability to make rational decisions or follow a set process. Therefore, activities for seniors with dementia need to be structured to provide a sense of safety and understanding. Regular music or art events such as weekly sing-alongs or watercolor classes are easy to arrange and are enjoyable for most seniors.

You Should Always Remain Patient

When introducing your loved one to a new activity, it’s also important to be patient, look patient, and act patient. Make suggestions instead of giving orders or instructions and don’t criticize or ask “why” questions. If things don’t go as planned, take it in stride. Even if the activity wasn’t completed successfully, if your loved one felt engaged and confident, the activity was a success.  Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Des Moines families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. To schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our qualified Care Managers, call us today at (515) 264-2438.


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