Many people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s struggle with a lack of brain stimulation and boredom and are not aware of good activities for people with dementia. That’s why it’s so important to participate in activities that engage your loved one’s brain and provide them with enjoyable pastimes. In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s association, activities not only improve quality of life for dementia patients, but they can reduce certain associated behaviors like agitation and wandering. At The Moments Memory Care, our specialized care approach and programming is based on the latest advances in dementia care.
Stimulating Activities for Dementia Patients
There are many recommended activities for dementia patients. However, a diagnosis of dementia certainly does not mean that one must abandon activities they enjoy. Many activities can be modified as dementia progresses, allowing your loved one to continue to participate and enjoy. If your loved one isn’t enjoying an activity, don’t worry. Simply take a break and try again later, or choose another activity instead.
All of these recommended activities are designed to:
- Help your loved one recall certain memories
- Allow them to reminisce about their life
- Develop or renew an emotional connection with loved ones
- Help them feel productive and more engaged with life
- Encourage self-expression
Exercise and Physical Activity
There are numerous benefits of exercise and physical activity for those with dementia, including regulating sleep and preventing sleeplessness at bedtime. Exercise also helps improve our moods, which lessens the chance of depression. Here are some ways to incorporate physical activities into your routine:
- Takes walks around your neighborhood or a park
- Try water aerobics classes (some fitness centers even have classes tailored for participants with dementia)
- Fishing or swimming
- If you’re really feeling adventurous, and depending on the progression of your loved one’s dementia, you could try biking or tandem biking!
Reminisce About Your Loved One’s Life
For people with dementia, long-term memory is oftentimes stronger than short-term memory. You can engage your loved one by asking them questions about their life and their history. For example, you can try:
- Watching family videos together
- Looking through scrapbooks
- Ask them about their favorite memories and stories
Cooking and Baking
Another practical and fun activity to do with your loved one with dementia is to try cooking a new recipe or baking a favorite sweet. You can let them participate as much as they are safely able. This provides a sense of independence and purpose. If they are advanced in their dementia, they can watch you cook and chat with you while you prepare their meal.
Engage Them in Their Favorite Activities
In the early stages of dementia, many patients withdraw from the activities they love. If you really want to reach your loved one and make them happy, ask them what they’d like to do. Or, suggest an activity you know they used to love.
Animal therapy is an excellent interactive activity for people with dementia. Studies show that even the presence of animals can reduce the effects of dementia, like anxiety, agitation, and depression. There are other health benefits to being around animals. Pet therapy can lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce cortisol levels, and boost serotonin levels. Even if your loved one doesn’t have a pet, there are other ways to visit animals:
- Invite a family member or friend to visit with their pet
- Take your loved one to an animal shelter or local farm
- See if your area has any animal therapy organizations you can visit
Get Out of the House
Many people with dementia say that they don’t get out and about as much as they would like. You can try:
- Going for a stroll and some shopping at the mall
- Visit their favorite place
- Take a day trip to a new place
- Spend the morning or afternoon in the park
The perfect way to see some new things and enjoy fresh air together is to explore nature, especially if your loved one has an affinity for the outdoors. Here are some activities to try:
- Garden together
- Visit a botanical garden
- Go bird watching
- Feed birds at a pond
- Sit and relax in your yard
- If you can’t make it outdoors, watch a nature documentary together.
Read a Book Out Loud
If your loved one has a favorite book but has trouble reading, you can try reading a book out loud to them. Another option is to play their favorite books for them as an audiobook, which is an excellent alternative to television.
Discuss Their Favorite Topics
What are your loved one’s interests or hobbies? You can encourage them to interact with you by discussing their favorite sports team, musician, or public figure. If you need help, start by watching a YouTube video or documentary together on the topic.
We all know that music helps soothe and stimulates people. Music also helps elicit memories and emotions for people with dementia, and can help provide a link to a person’s past. A recent study even found that musical training delays cognitive decline and promotes plasticity in an elderly person’s brain. Ideas to try, include:
- Listening to their favorite song, singer, or band together
- Creating a Spotify playlist of their favorite genre
- Watch videos of their favorite band or singer perform live
- Be adventurous and go to a concert together! Many libraries offer live music on a regular basis.
Arts and Crafts
In addition to allowing your loved one to express themselves, arts and crafts are a wonderful sensory activity for people with dementia. You can try activities like:
There are even arts and crafts products that are made specifically for patients with dementia that you can find online.
Help stimulate your loved one’s brain and have fun together by doing some simple games and activities.
- Card games
- Board games
Let Them Assist with Tasks
Many times, those who have been diagnosed with dementia feel like they have lost their sense of purpose. You can help your loved one regain their sense of power by having them help you with simple tasks around the house, like:
- Folding clothes
- Pairing socks
- Drying dishes
- Sweeping and dusting
- And any other tasks they used to do that they might enjoy!
Activities for Residents at The Moments Memory Care
At The Moments, we know that each resident is unique. Our programming takes into account each resident’s needs, desires, and abilities. All of our activities are designed specifically to engage and activate one or multiple of the 5-sense in each of our residents allowing them to live fulfilled and happy days.
At The Moments, we recognize the many benefits of music in our residents’ day-to-day lives. We have a Player Piano, Casio keyboards, hand drums, and other small instruments so that residents can play music whenever they like. We also have music therapy classes with a specialist and host regular musical performances like “sing-along-tunes”, piano performances, and dance performances, which is always a heart-warming experience for residents, their families and staff.
Our Sensory Design care approach influences all the programs and special events we coordinate at The Moments. Our goal is to engage and stimulate our residents Taste, Touch, Sight, Sound, and Smell through fun activities to ensure a continued active lifestyle and positive overall wellbeing. Events range from pampering spa hour to salon day, word games and “this date in history” activities. We facilitate BINGO sessions and our very own comedy club. When laughter fills the hallways, happiness reigns.
Many of the fresh, organic vegetables our residents eat in meals prepared by Chef Charles are grown right on our property, with the help of our residents. Our residents partake in the garden club and tend their own flower beds. Additionally, our residents also love taking advantage of the wildlife habitat that is adjacent to The Moments.
We know the importance of outdoor environments for our residents. That’s why we regularly take residents on outings to various wildlife destinations during peak seasons to foster their connection to the outdoors.
Movement and Fitness Activities
At The Moments, we recognize that movement is vital to everyone’s well-being. There are no dead-end hallways in our home. That allows our residents to use the hallways as an indoor walking track at any time of the day or night.
We also work with specialists to provide a variety of daily fitness options, including yoga and Tai Chi and chair dancing. We offer movement and fitness classes on a daily basis for residents. These classes are designed to help improve their core strength, balance, coordination, cardiovascular health, as well as promote relaxation and reduce stress and agitation.
When the weather is warm, we provide a variety of outdoor exercises and various lawn and garden games!
For our more independent and adventurous residents, we have The Moments Adventure Club. The Adventure Club goes on weekly outings to educational and experiential destinations that they choose together. Our dedicated staff accompanies the residents on their adventures in order to ensure their safety – and to have a bit of fun together! Past adventures have included the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the American Swedish Museum, and the Bakken Museum.
At The Moments, we recognize that the kitchen is the “heart of a home” so each residential wing is outfitted with a “therapy kitchen” for our residents to connect with staff, other residents and to participate in culinary activities. This is a popular “hang out”, especially when nurses and residents are baking cookies! Learn More About Activities for Residents at The Moments.
The Moments offers far more activities and events for our residents than many other memory care homes. To get an idea of what day-to-day life at The Moments is like, take a look at our Programming Calendar.
TAKE A TOUR
Our resident specialist will give you a private tour of The Moments Memory Care Community and answer any questions you may have.
Our HVAC system was uniquely designed to deliver six complete air changes per hour which means clean air, safer air, throughout the building. Our resident rooms have individual fresh air and filtration above the windows, both designed to increase safety and sanitation levels.
Our normal protocol includes rigorous daily disinfecting of resident rooms and common areas. During every shift, staff disinfects doors, handrails and other common areas.
Meals have shifted from community gatherings to small group, socially distanced meals that are served in shifts, tables and chairs are sanitized after each seating.
ALL residents and staff are tested bi-weekly, at a minimum and take temperature checks are conducted daily of all residents.
Anybody – staff, caregivers, residents, vendors – who enters The Moments will pass through the ENTRY where Far-UVC lighting will inactivate surface-level viruses and bacteria
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