The term “dementia” is used to describe a decline in mental abilities and memory that is significant enough to interfere with an elderly parent’s daily life. The progressive nature of the condition often limits what seniors can do to care for themselves, often requiring a family caregiver and several home care assistants to provide for their basic needs. However, even if an elderly parent is afflicted with mild to moderate dementia, they can still participate in meaningful activities.
Consider Past Interests
When family caregivers are thinking of activities for elderly parents with dementia, they should start with things they enjoyed doing in the past. Modified hobbies that they once participated in are a good place to start. For example, if an elderly parent once liked to play the piano, they may enjoy listening to a CD of classical piano. If they love animals, make arrangements for a neighbor or family member with a cuddly dog or cat to visit. Any variations of activities that elderly parents once enjoyed will help stir memories and connect emotionally.
The Power of Music
There’s no doubt that music has a way of touching hearts and minds, and elderly parents with dementia can benefit from regular music exposure and therapy. Music can even boost brain activity and enhance mental performance in some cases. Playing music is a good start, but to get seniors more involved, consider ways they can express themselves. Interestingly, musical aptitude can remain with an elderly loved one for a long time, even while other abilities fade.
Do Chores Together
When it comes to chores, elderly parents with dementia still want to feel like they are useful and helpful. Some basic chores include sweeping, folding towels or sorting socks. It doesn’t matter how well the job is done, what matters is that the senior is enjoying the process and feeling like they are contributing to the workload.
There are an endless number of simple holiday crafts that elderly parents with dementia can do. It’s a wonderful way to let them be creative and express their personality. Simple crafting material like paper, paint, beads, ribbon, yarn and hot glue can yield some fun results. Plus, the elderly parent can decorate their home or living space for each holiday.
Meaningful Activities Boost Quality of Life
Keeping aging parents with dementia involved in hobbies and activities is an important part of structuring their lives after the condition has been diagnosed. When elderly loved ones feel more satisfied with their life, they don’t have as much irritability, confusion and anxiety that dementia can bring on.
Family caregivers should do everything they can for their elderly parent to create meaningful activities that have been modified for safety or practicality. It’s easy to forget how favorite activities once enjoyed can now suddenly become frustrating and overwhelming. No matter where elderly loved ones are in their dementia, they can still feel productive, engaged and purposeful.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Milpitas, CA, please contact the caring staff at Bay Area Home Care. Call today 650-938-4031.