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 Improving Quality of Life with Enriching Activities in the Different Stages of Dementia

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As a family member of someone with dementia, you may feel a sense of loss as your loved one experiences worsening memory loss, cognitive decline and behavior changes. The progression of dementia symptoms doesn’t mean they’ve lost all their interests or the qualities that make them unique; it just means they may need more help finding that spark. 

Many people living with mid- to late-stage dementia still have the drive and desire to pursue the activities and hobbies they once loved. You can help your loved one live a high-quality, self-directed life by keeping them engaged with you and their environment. We encourage you to check out the following list of activities for people living with dementia, put together by our experts at Parkwood. 

Activities for Seniors with Mid-Stage Dementia 

Activities that involve creativity and art are especially useful for someone in the middle stages of dementia, but there are many other activities they can enjoy. In fact, most seniors can continue all their favorite activities by simply changing the activity to match their abilities. 

These are a few activities a person with mid-stage dementia can still enjoy:

Cook a meal. Preparing a familiar meal, such as a family recipe for lasagna or a favorite dessert, can bring comfort and the satisfaction of completing a meaningful task together.

Take care of plants. Whether your loved one enjoys planting flowers or watering house plants, caring for plants is a great tactile activity for seniors in mid-stage dementia. It’s also a great way to enjoy fresh air, beautiful flower blooms and vibrant greenery.

Read aloud. The symptoms of dementia can affect a person’s ability to read a book and follow a plot, which can be frustrating for people who have loved reading their entire lives. Reading a familiar book aloud to your loved one can be a great way to help them stay connected with their favorite books while spending time together.

Get in the pool. Water exercise has many benefits for those in the early to middle stages of dementia. Many seniors enjoy the calming sensation of being in water, and spending time in water can build strength and improve balance for older adults.

Walk together. Plan your route to include places to sit down and rest, and be sure to bring any assistive equipment your loved one needs, such as a walker or cane.

Your loved one may get frustrated when tasks are difficult and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. You can help them manage the ups and downs by encouraging them to keep trying, and making sure they have the right level of support so they can remain as independent as possible. 

Activities for Seniors Living with Late-Stage Dementia

When visiting a loved one living with late-stage dementia, you’ll want to focus on simple and comforting activities your loved one enjoys. Keep in mind the most important aspect of engaging with your loved one is the simple act of spending time together.

Here are a few fun ways to spend time with your loved one:

Tap out a rhythm. Patting to a rhythm together using a stick or spoon is a great way to make music and put a smile on your family member’s face.

Feel the love. Massaging a person’s hands with a lightly scented cream while they listen to their favorite song or calmly sit outside is relaxing and helps you feel an extra-close bond. 

Create art. Some crafty ideas include using stamps or stickers to make a collage, working with modeling clay to form shapes and sculptures, or creating a bouquet by attaching an assortment of ribbons and bows to a paper plate.

Fold fabrics. While they may not make perfect squares, your loved one will still feel a sense of comfort and confidence when they perform a daily task like folding towels, blankets or clothing. 

Wrap it up. Who doesn’t like to receive presents? Find something like a hatbox or decorative bottle and wrap it. Not only will your loved one like picking at the paper; they’ll also delight at the small prize inside.

Keep in mind, your loved one will have good days and bad days, but as long as you stay patient and keep trying, you’ll both benefit from spending special time together. 

Discover the Benefits of Personalized Memory Care

At Parkwood, we offer a nationally recognized approach to dementia care called Heartfelt CONNECTIONS A Memory Care Program®. Heartfelt CONNECTIONS is a highly individualized plan tailored to your loved one’s personality and interests. It stimulates all five senses and activates their minds with person-centered care, instead of focusing on the limitations of their condition.

The principal focus of the Heartfelt CONNECTIONS program at Parkwood is preserving a person’s individuality, which can be a source of comfort for people with dementia and caregivers alike. The program is designed with the following goals in mind:

  • Helping those with dementia discover what brings them joy
  • Promoting a sense of independence
  • Changing the environment to suit the individual
  • Respecting and highlighting a person’s history and personality
  • Offering personalized care through tailored activities

Our Memory Care neighborhood encourages making heartfelt connections with your loved one, where every interaction is positive and uplifting, and they’re inspired to find their own joy and feel a sense of accomplishment. Read another of our blog posts to learn more about communicating with your loved one as dementia progresses.

See How Your Loved One with Dementia Can Thrive at Parkwood

Heartfelt CONNECTIONS, the personalized Memory Care program offered at Parkwood, consists of unique activities and amenities to enrich the life of your loved one. With special options ranging from music and art therapy to a warm and secure environment, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved one’s care is in good hands. Contact us to schedule a tour and learn more about our Memory Care program at Parkwood.

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