Help Those With Dementia Feel More Included
Helping Those with Dementia Feel More Included
Dementia can be a difficult diagnosis to cope with. Seniors may have really good days where they’re alert and present, and other days they’re more confused and disconnected. As a family member, there are plenty of ways that you can help to keep them engaged. Over time, your loved one may struggle to do some of the things they used to do, but you can help them feel useful and valued by making a concentrated effort including them.
At family gatherings, find activities where they can participate. Maybe that means setting the table with favorite dishware, preparing various aspects of the meal or making a side dish, or organizing books or magazines while straightening up. If they have trouble keeping up with games, find something where you can play in teams or a game that has fewer steps to remember.
Take time to listen to their stories and ask questions. It may not be 100 percent on-topic, but hear what they have to say. You may be surprised at what you can learn. Individuals with dementia are often better at recalling the past than recent events. Allowing them to share stories or advice from their past experiences gives them a sense of self-worth and belonging.
You can also sing favorite songs or look through pictures together. Reminiscing is a great way to strengthen your bond. Take new pictures to add to their photo album as well and write down who is in the picture, where it was taken, and what you were doing. Share cell phone photos from your recent activities and explain what each family member is doing. Going to familiar places that they recognize can also make them feel more comfortable and included. It provides something that they can connect with.
It can be fun to engage in activities suited for the whole family too. Choose craft projects which seniors and grandchildren alike will enjoy. Everyone working together will create a fabulous memory. If your loved one knows how to knit or crochet, allow them to teach younger generations and pass along the tradition. Birding, photography, card games and board games are some other fun family activities.
Keeping a routine is a valuable way to provide comfort to those with Dementia. When you follow a schedule each day, your loved one comes to know what to expect. This helps reduce confusion and agitation. They’re better able to transition between activities and feel more in control of what’s going on. And they have activities to look forward to at that moment.
One important thing to keep in mind is flexibility. Not everything will always go according to plan. Adjust accordingly and take things one step at a time. Remain calm and simply enjoy the time you get to spend together, appreciating every moment. Everyone has their good and bad days, including those caring for a loved one with Dementia.
If you can’t spend as much time as you’d like with your aging parent, ensure that they have the support they need by hiring an in-home caregiver. A caregiver can provide companionship, assist with day-to-day activities such as cleaning, organizing, planning, and meal preparation and provide transportation to doctor’s appointments and the grocery store.
You can take comfort knowing that your loved one can overcome some of the challenges of dementia and continue aging in place with the support of a trained and qualified caregiver from Always Best Care Senior Services. Contact David Baim today at Always Best Care Senior Services Plymouth Meeting, PA/Lansdale, PA (267) 217-7059 to schedule a free consultation.