A woman puts together a puzzle with her older mother. This is just one of the activities for a person with dementia to help build confidence.

What is it that gets you out of bed each morning? Most of us have a long list of to-dos that drives us to begin the day. However much we might like to keep hitting the snooze button, having a feeling of purpose is certainly imperative to our health. That is true for somebody with dementia as well.

When caring for a loved one with dementia, it’s natural to want to do whatever you can for the individual. While the intentions behind that line of thought are to help make life better and easier, it might have the reverse effect. It’s essential to empower the individual to keep doing tasks and participate in purposeful activities, even if this means a little extra time and patience from you.

What Are Some Activities for a Person With Dementia?

There is an endless list of activities for a person with dementia. It begins with activities of everyday living, the things we rarely think twice about: taking a bath or shower, getting dressed, preparing and eating meals. But imagine having these everyday tasks taken over by another person. How might it change the way you view yourself?

With some modifications and support, someone in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia can still accomplish these activities. For example, if:

  • Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is not possible any longer, consider which steps the person can still do: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
  • Buttons and zippers are cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled off and on more easily.
  • Removing the toothpaste cap and squeezing just the right amount onto the toothbrush is challenging, take care of that step for the person, leaving the toothbrush on the side of the sink so they are able to brush independently.

In addition, you will want to make sure there are a variety of fun and engaging activities for the person to experience during the day as well. Base these activities on their current and/or past hobbies and interests. Consider:

  • Taking a regular walk around the block or in the yard, enjoying nature and chatting with neighbors
  • Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if needed
  • Sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders
  • Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together, or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
  • Ability-appropriate puzzles and games

The home care experts at Live Free Home Health Care are trained in innovative strategies that make each day the very best it can be. Reach out to us online or call us at 603-217-0149 or additional information about how our dementia care services in Bow, Concord, Epsom, and the nearby areas can improve life for someone you love.