Quite often, an old person with dementia refuses to do things or hobbies that were previously a joy to him. The disease changes the abilities and capabilities of people, so the attitude towards former hobbies also changes. As a rule, this happens at the initial stages of the disease development. At this time, it is important to support a loved one, let him feel his importance, and help him not to lose himself. If you have a loved one with dementia and look for home health care in Nassau for him, this article is for you. We will look at leisure options for people with dementia and the role of caregivers in their lives.
Leisure time for an old person with dementia
In relation to people with dementia, the following types of behavioral intervention are acceptable:
Cognitive. It is based on training the thinking ability and strengthening the sense of reality in the seniors. It is assumed that such activities give positive results in the early stages of the disease. However, there are minor results for a short time. Such intervention must be carried out by treating the person with dementia with respect and correctness so that communication is pleasant for him.
Actions aimed at adapting a person with dementia to the surrounding reality. Old people with such an ailment cannot get used to the new reality and adapt to changes. Therefore, it is necessary to work with the environment to meet the needs and capabilities of old people, taking into account their limitations, and creating a safe space. So, if a relative with dementia has a habit of going out into the street without a clear purpose and getting lost, you need to choose a walk option that can keep him occupied and will not do harm.
Actions, the task of which is not just to occupy the patient, but also to please, to give pleasure. It is important to understand what exactly an old patient with dementia likes, taking into account the characteristics of his personality, the specifics of previous hobbies, and the stage of the disease. Maybe it will be music therapy or painting.
When deciding what to do with an old person with dementia, and choosing the type of activity, you need to understand that as the disease develops, communication with people around him will be built in a certain way. The content of the words that the patient hears will be forgotten after a few minutes, other information coming through the senses (smell, sight, taste, hearing, and touch), he will remember a little longer. Therefore, if you want to interest an old person in something, you have to work with simple cognitive abilities that are still left (for example, the ability to sort and match). This must be done in such a way that this pastime is enjoyable.
Important skills can be maintained by involving older people with dementia in routine household chores. Family members or caregivers should be nearby. So, a relative can be occupied with simple kitchen work.
- Washing vegetables and fruits:
- such a simple but pleasant thing will occupy the person, stimulate the senses through contact with water and tactile interaction with fruits and a towel when wiping them;
- for safety, it is better to wash fruits while away from the tap: it is not advisable for an old person to turn on hot water;
- the best solution is to place the fruits in a bowl or basin of water;
- it is better if an old person sits as this is the most convenient position for him;
- you can mix different vegetables and fruits and then ask an old person with dementia to distribute them after washing in a separate bowl; so he can use his ability to sort things.
- Baking simple cookies:
- tactile contact with products contributes to the awakening of pleasant memories; in addition, when a small piece of dough is kneaded by hands, the small joints of the hand are involved, which is good stimulation for old people with dementia;
- cookies are baked quickly enough, so a person can quickly evaluate the result of his work; such activity captivates the old person, at the same time awakening a sense of taste (no less important in stimulating sensations is the aroma that fills the kitchen);
- it should be remembered that in the later stages of the development of dementia, an old person may involuntarily take objects around him into his mouth; although testing the dough is not a dangerous activity, it is still not worth involving people who have swallowing problems in baking.
- Wiping cutlery, sorting and arranging them in the drawer:
- such an activity helps to maintain cognitive capabilities; the old person also feels that he takes part in household chores and can control events;
- it is required to keep an eye on the actions of an old person and, depending on his condition, decide how much to entrust the sorting of cutlery.
- Folding laundry:
- cognitive skills are required to engage in such activities, and hands moving in different directions are also involved in the process;
- the lesson is safe, as the old man does it in a sitting position;
- if you use a deliciously smelling conditioner during washing, then it will also be useful for the old person to fold clothes from the point of view of stimulating his olfactory receptors;
- a good and safe cognitive exercise for old people with dementia is sorting socks into pairs.
Old people with dementia need companionship and meaningful activities. If your relative has dementia, you can assign him simple tasks that will keep him in a good mood. It is best to involve a caregiver in the care of a loved one with dementia, as he has the experience and knowledge to interact with such people. Galaxy Home Care is a reliable home care service provider to find a caregiver for a long time.