Keeping in mind all the various stages of dementia, there are a few common activities that can be enjoyed at any stage. Some accommodation might be required, but these activities can be very engaging and encouraging.
- Bake something or cook meals together. Keep it simple and encourage your loved one. Especially if they have a history of loving to bake or cook. This is a great activity for feeling a sense of accomplishment.
- Play music that your loved one enjoys. Sing with them or even dance. The power of music in dementia care can really have positive effects.
- Read with them or to them. Read a book or story that they usually enjoy and are familiar with, it may spark some memories or conversation.
- Draw, paint, do puzzles, or play games. This can be fun and relaxing for some, but look out for your loved one potentially getting upset and gauge whether you think they are enjoying it or not.
- Watch a program, movie, or family videos. This can be stimulating and foster interesting conversation or wonderful memories.
- Do some gardening. Planting flowers for spring can be both therapeutic and a great way to encourage a little extra physical activity while spending time outdoors.
- Keep a pet. For many, having a pet around is soothing and calming. There are many benefits of pets for seniors. Although a crucial factor with this is having someone available to make sure that the pet is being properly cared for under all circumstances. For advanced dementia patients who have had animals in their life, a stuffed animal could also bring calmness and comfort.
- Go on a short outing in nature. This is a wonderful and simple way to spend time together. Whether it’s a walk or a wheelchair excursion, getting some fresh air is something to do with your loved one whenever possible.