Gardening is a low-stress, low-impact activity that can provide mental stimulation for dementia patients.
Dementia sufferers have an affinity for gardening because they are able to use their senses of sight, sound, touch, and taste while engaging in this activity.
From picking out vegetables or flowers to planting them in the ground to harvesting their bounty, gardening offers many opportunities to promote cognitive health.
Bird-watching is a fun activity for dementia seniors. It’s important to understand that bird-watching can be both passive or active.
Passive bird-watching is when the individual observes birds in their natural habitat without disturbing them, while active bird-watching is when the individual observes them out of their natural habitat, such as an aviary.
Dementia seniors are more likely to enjoy passive bird-watching because of their cognitive restrictions.
Arts and Crafts
Dementia seniors are often encouraged to participate in arts and crafts. This form of activity allows residents to express themselves through creative outlets like drawing, painting, jewellery making, or other creative pursuits.
One such activity is the “memory jar” which engages seniors’ memories by using items like candy corn, string, and a jar. The participant talks about something they remember from the past and then places that object into the jar for others to guess.
When it comes to crafting, some popular items include felt letters, clay. These activities can also build social connection with others who enjoy similar hobbies.
Animal Interactions is a specific type of therapy in which the animal works with the person to help them get up and move around, to stimulate memories, provide comfort and more.
The animals are trained to work with people that have dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Animal Interactions can include using cats, dogs, goats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds.
Traditional Games and Puzzles
Traditional games and puzzles are wonderful for dementia seniors. They can stimulate the mind and also provide a fun and social experience for those suffering from the disease. Puzzles such as crossword puzzles, word searches, and slides can be great ways to stimulate the brain and encourage social interaction among family members or friends.
In addition, traditional games such as cards or dominoes will allow people suffering from dementia to strategize with themselves as well as others.
Consider using games like jigsaw puzzles, bingo, or cards to engage the person with dementia. Cards are great for memory exercises and can be used to stimulate conversation about people, places, and things.
Bingo is a popular game that has been around for centuries and is a good way to keep track of the time. Puzzles are great for stimulating brain function, but one should avoid something too difficult as this may frustrate them more.
Using familiar, safe spaces and objects helps them recall memories that may have been lost. It also provides a sense of order and stability, which is comforting for seniors.
A few examples of traditional games include non-verbal strategy games such as chess or checkers, board games such as Scrabble or Tetris, and drawing activities such as colouring.
Active Games and Sports
These allow you to get some activity, enhance your kinesthetic awareness, and acquire control over your surroundings. All of this may be incredibly fulfilling, especially if you get to overcome hurdles or compete with others in a pleasant manner. Some active sports are:
E) Pickle ball