Just like everyone else, older adults with dementia can experience boredom. In fact, they may be more likely to get bored because dementia can keep them from doing the things they once enjoyed. Boredom in dementia patients can lead to frustrating and dangerous behavioral symptoms like wandering and agitation. It can also cause depression. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know what activities your aging relative can do and would enjoy.
General Tips for Interaction
When you’re planning things to do with a senior who has dementia, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the activity fun and meaningful. Below are some planning tips suggested by the Alzheimer’s Association:
- Pay Attention: Throughout the day, pay attention to what seems to make the older adult happy. Do they enjoy watching sports? Are they interested in cooking or baking? Use their interests to come up with activities.
- Take Skills and Abilities into Account: An activity won’t be fun if the senior no longer has the ability to do it. Modify activities to make them easier as the person’s abilities change. If physical disabilities make some activities too hard, avoid them.
- Self-Starting Activities: If there are things the older adult does without instruction or needing to be shown how to start, like setting the table or folding laundry, make those activities part of each day’s scheduled routine.
When considering activities, try to choose those that are:
- Fun or enjoyable for the senior.
- Meaningful or provide a sense of purpose.
- Appropriate for adults and preserve dignity.
- Are process focused, instead of focusing on the outcome.
Below are some ideas for activities seniors with dementia may enjoy:
- Baking or Cooking: Even when the older adult can no longer follow a recipe, they may enjoy doing some of the steps in making a baked good or meal. For example, they can wash vegetables, mix dough, or pour ingredients in to the bowl.
- Crafts: Seniors who have enjoyed doing craft projects in the past sometimes retain some of their skills even in the middle and later stages of dementia. Someone with dementia may still be able to knit because of muscle memory even when they can’t necessarily make anything. Whatever craft you choose, keep the tools they use simple and safe.
- Household Tasks: Being able to help with things around the house can help the senior to feel useful. Ask them to assist with things like drying dishes, folding towels, or setting the table. If they have difficulty getting started, do the activity with them for a few minutes so they are reminded of what to do.
Having an elder care provider can also prevent boredom in people with dementia. Elder care providers give the person someone to talk to. Elder care providers can also do activities with your family member, both fun things like crafts and household tasks, depending on what the senior enjoys.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN AVONDALE, AZ, CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY (623) 748-3301.