Your dementia patient/loved ones will eventually lose the ability to participate in their hobbies and lose interest in doing things.
Inactivity, not exercising and decrease in mobility will eventually result in behaviors, agitations and decrease in quality of life.
Here are some tips you can use to increase their participation level.
- Identify your patients current level of function or stage. Are they in early, middle or end stage of mobility or activity level. Early stages mean, they can complete simple task with minimal cues. Middle stage is they can do task with cues, one step at a time. End stage means, they only respond to certain cues and feedback such as visual, sound and touching cues.
- Activities don’t have to be complicated. You can start an activity by doing everyday task such as making a sandwich, combing hair, fixing the table, washing hands. Etc….
- Find the right activity for your dementia patients. The simpler the better. Find a physical therapist or an occupational therapist to make things for you. Some patients are unable to read books, maybe start with reading a greeting card. Some patients are unable to do complicated puzzle, try using 10 piece or 5 piece puzzles.
- Always provide a structured routine and environment. Make a morning routine, a lunch, evening and sleeping routine. The more structured it is, the more they are relaxed.
- Take into consideration on patients past interest. The more they are familiar with it, the more they will likely enjoy the activity.
- Try doing half-done activities, like when making sandwich, finishing puzzle and setting the table. Empower your patients, include them in simple decision making skills.
- Don’t be too tight. There is no right and wrong in activities. It is not about finishing or completing these activities. It is about initiating and enjoying the time with your loved ones.
Caring for loved ones with dementia can be taxing in mind and in body.