In Home Care Activities For People Experiencing Dementia
Taking care of a person experiencing dementia can be a difficult task. Making connections can be hard for them, but when they are made, they often enjoy that they made them. Encouraging memory exploration and self-expression are great ways to have them enjoy themselves while also making the connections that you desire for them to. Here are a few tips for caregivers administering in-home care to people experiencing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
1. Enjoyment Before Accomplishment
Below there are a lot of activities that can help someone make connections that caregivers can administer during in-home care. The problem is that caregivers are often focused on the person achieving things they used to do rather than having them enjoy them. Pay close attention to whether or not reminding them of old things makes them happy, or it frustrates them. Don’t get upset if they can’t remember.
2. Sing Songs They used to Know
By singing songs that they know, you’re making a powerful connection with their brain. Because cadence can help with memory, they might end up remembering a tune that you did not think they would. Think about what they listened to and sang when you were growing up; there might be something in their that can help jog their memory. In home care with a person experiencing Alzheimer’s can be made much easier when the person affected is given the opportunity to make connections.
3. Keep a Collection
Collect things that they owned in their early twenties and late teens. Remember, scent is strongly tied to memory, so if there’s anything scented, it’s possible that that will work better than anything else. Let them hold these things in their hands, so they can get the full sensory experience. The more that they engage with the item, the better chance that they have at making a connection.
4. Bring Back Old Hobbies
If they played an instrument or had an activity that they used to love, give them the materials to do it. Muscle memory can be extremely powerful, so you might be surprised at how much they’re able to accomplish despite their current mental state.
5. Listen to Them
If you can tell that they’re getting frustrated or confused during an activity, it’s best if you let it go and try something else. Not being able to remember can be the most frustrating thing in the world. If you’re experiencing Alzheimer’s, that can be your entire life. Remember to do things for enjoyment rather than trying to get them to accomplish something.
6. Turn Activities Into Conversations
When you’re doing an activity, speak with them about exactly what you’re both doing. They may not respond, but their brain is still being stimulated by the conversation. This is a great way to keep them involved throughout the day.
In Home Care is All About Patience
It’s pretty common for people experiencing dementia to get frustrated over the course of an activity. If this happens, either try something else, or give them just a bit of time to calm down. It can be a very frustrating time, so a little empathy goes a long way.