Finding activities which can be fun and engaging for a senior with dementia tends to be a challenge. Add in vision impairment, and it could seem overwhelming. Even so, it is vitally important to make sure every day holds opportunities for purpose, joy, and meaning – minimizing the level of agitation, frustration, and other challenging emotions and behaviors in Alzheimer's. Our Windsor-Essex home care team has low vision and dementia tips to help.
The first step is to think through the older adult's current and past hobbies, interests and lifestyle. Then brainstorm approaches to draw on those preferences. We’ve gathered some ideas to help you get started:
- Put together a playlist of the older adult's favorite songs or genre of music, and then dance, sing along, keep the beat with a tambourine or a sealed container of dried beans. Talk about the memories the music raises.
- Read aloud, choosing articles or stories that are easy to follow and on subjects which are interesting for the senior. For example, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite players and teams, and then chatting about highlights from the past as well.
- Get moving for improved muscle tone and circulation, as well as to help promote daytime wakefulness and better nighttime sleeping. If weather permits, exercising outdoors is a fantastic way to add in vitamin D and fresh air. Try walks in nature, pointing out the specific birds, flowers, trees, etc. that you pass on the way.
- Try out a variety of tactile art mediums which can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing shells, buttons, dried pasta, etc. into a shape or pattern.
- Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the house. Food preparation offers a variety of options, such as washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for a cake. Or ask your senior loved one to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
- Try pet therapy. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted cat or dog for the senior to pet or hold. While this might seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending time with an animal can be significant.
Our Windsor-Essex home care professionals are highly-skilled in creative ideas to engage older adults of any ability level to help make everyday life more enjoyable. Contact us online or call us at 519.915.4370 for a dependable care partner today!