As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, patients become less able to perform and enjoy the activities that they used to love. This is one of the consequences of the condition’s symptoms that can really impact their quality of life and everyday enjoyment. But pursuing activities and hobbies is essential for the mental health of Alzheimer’s patients, and it can even help to maintain their cognitive abilities or slow down their decline.
If you care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia and are looking for things to do with them, then here are some enriching and stimulating activities you can try.
Arts and crafts
Creating something can be extremely fulfilling and also helps to stimulate particular areas of the brain that can be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients. Things like painting and drawing are ways that patients can express themselves even when their language abilities have started to decline.
Music is also incredibly enriching and helps patients to express themselves. Our brain often draws connections between certain songs and different memories or phases of our lives, so music can help to trigger uplifting memories in your loved one. Try just listening to music with them, singing along, or even encouraging them to play an instrument if they are able to.
Reading can also spark memories and thoughts in your loved one and can be a fun and relaxing activity. Read with them or to them, whether you’re reading something new or a book that you know they have read and loved. Listening to audiobooks can be another good option.
Walking in nature
Physical activity is just as important for Alzheimer’s patients as cognitive activities. A gentle walk outdoors can be a relaxing activity that keeps them active. If your loved one isn’t mobile enough for this, then taking them on a walk in a wheelchair is still beneficial. Simply being in nature has been found to have numerous mental health benefits.
Puzzles and games
Doing puzzles is another mentally and cognitively stimulating activity you can try. You could do a jigsaw puzzle together or work on a crossword or another type of puzzle. Or you can play board games or word games together.
Remember to keep your loved one’s interests in mind when planning activities. Think about what kind of things they like to do before their diagnosis and see if you can still do this with them. In some cases, this may involve adapting the activity to suit their physical or mental capabilities.
If you need help and support caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, then contact Brookstone Terrace of Woodruff to find out more about our care services and assisted living community in Woodruff, SC.