For caregivers, or those with a loved one with dementia, finding activities to help stimulate the senses is critical to physical and emotional wellbeing. People living with dementia experience different stages of memory loss and effects can vary from one individual to the next.
As Alzheimer’s and dementia can impact social skills relating to memory loss, it’s important to find ways to engage people, maintain relationships and connections, and foster interaction rather than searching for solo activities that occupy time. There are games, crafts and puzzles designed specifically for people with dementia that can be used to help sharpen memory and motor skills. Let’s take a look at some options for you and your loved one to do together.
Puzzles can be a relaxing activity to pass the time, but moreover, they stimulate memory. The problem-solving skills needed to solve even a simple 13 piece puzzle stimulate the brain. Jigsaw puzzles help with short term memory and improve brain function. Plus, people with dementia and Alzheimer’s are more susceptible to feeling stressed and anxious, so being able to focus on a puzzle can ease them and keep their minds on something else.
When doing a puzzle together with someone living with dementia it’s important to try to find something that is “stage appropriate”. Be conscious of the detail of the image as well as the number of pieces. TIP: With a variety of dementia focused puzzles to choose from, try to select an image that appeals to the person’s hobbies, interests, and taste.
Paints & Creativity
Painting is another great way to engage a person living with dementia. Art projects are known to boost cognitive brain function and help with social interaction. Even in later stages of dementia, people can enjoy using water and simple strokes to make images on the paper come alive in color. Other engaging crafts for various stages that are simple and support motor skills can be using modeling clay, flower arranging, and scrapbooking. Creating memory books is ideal to keep treasured times at the forefront of a person’s mind.
Games are a great way for people to interact in a group setting – fostering social engagement that can combat feelings of loneliness. They also stimulate brain function and, who doesn’t enjoy a friendly challenge every now and again? Games like Musical Bingo combine fun competitive spirit with a melodic twist. So many of us enjoy listening to music and this brings in the best of both worlds.
With a multitude of activities and categories to choose you can support and encourage cognitive brain function and motor skills, while more importantly having fun. Relish offers, activities and ideas to boost wellbeing in those affected with memory loss. An invaluable resource to the dementia community, for over 10 years, Relish has designed and developed ways to help family, friends and caregivers make meaningful connections and engage people living with memory loss. Visit relish-life.com to learn more about staying active and bringing joy to life when living with dementia.