Are you looking for good activities for seniors with dementia?
Even if your loved one has dementia, you and your loved one can still have fun and enjoy doing activities together. However, you’ll want to ensure that the dementia activities you choose are appropriate for the stage of dementia they’re in.
Fortunately, regardless of what stage of dementia your loved one is in, there’s a wide range of activities to do with older adults with dementia.
Unsure which games or activities for those with dementia are best for your loved one?
Interested in learning about free activities for dementia patients that you can do with your loved one?
Consider this article your guide on how to entertain an elderly person with dementia. We’ll break down dementia into its three stages (early, middle, and late) and share the top activities and interactive games for dementia patients at home.
Keep reading to learn more about entertainment ideas for dementia patients.
The Importance of Activities and Games for Those With Dementia
Before we jump into specific activities to do with older adults with dementia, we thought it would be best to start with the “why” behind dementia activities.
So, why are activities and games important for dementia patients?
Activities and games for those with dementia can:
- Help someone with dementia find meaning and joy in life
- Play a role in overcoming challenging behaviors
- Promote self-esteem and purpose
- Allow your loved one to maintain residual skills
Good activities for seniors with dementia also engage the person’s brain and can help slow down dementia symptoms.
In addition, doing activities and playing games is a great way for you and your loved one with dementia to enjoy time together.
Now that you know why games for dementia patients at home are valuable, let’s look more specifically at how to entertain an elderly person with dementia with stage-specific activities.
Good Activities for Seniors With Dementia
Whether your loved one is in the early, middle, or late stage of dementia, there are activities and games they can engage in.
Here’s a more in-depth look at each stage of dementia and some activities that your loved one may enjoy in each one.
Dementia Activities in the Early Stage
The early stage of dementia is usually marked by short-term memory loss issues. It rarely comes with severe cognitive or physical limitations. Emotional and behavioral changes also aren’t usually present in the early stage.
Instead, someone in the early stage of dementia can still be very active and independent. They may need help remembering things, like where they placed a particular item. Otherwise, they can more or less function normally.
Free activities for dementia patients that can be fun and enjoyable in the early stage of dementia include:
- Exercise (e.g., taking walks, engaging in a favorite sport)
- Cooking meals (which can encourage good health as dementia progresses)
- Playing their favorite card games
- Doing puzzles, word games, or other mind-engaging activities
Since individuals in the early stage aren’t severely hindered by dementia, you can also simply engage with them in their normal daily routine and hobbies.
Activities and Games for Those With Middle-stage Dementia
In the middle stage of dementia, your loved one may start experiencing more severe symptoms. Worsened symptoms may include:
- Increased memory loss
- Emotional/behavioral changes
- Confusion, even in familiar surroundings
In this stage, your loved one will also require heightened levels of care and assistance with daily tasks/activities.
However, there are still many games and activities that you and your loved one can enjoy together. A few entertainment ideas for dementia patients in the middle stage are:
- Watching their favorite movies or TV shows
- Looking through old photo albums and talking about memories
- Continuing to go on walks or engage in other exercises (as able)
- Playing simple card games (e.g., go fish, matching colors or suits)
- Doing simple art projects, like creating a scrapbook or cutting photos out of magazines
Middle-stage dementia does come with worsened symptoms, but you can still spend quality time with your loved one.
Free Activities for Dementia Patients in the Late Stage
The late stage of dementia can often bring with it significant physical limitations. As your loved one enters the late stage, they may lose the ability to walk, speak, or eat independently. Many adults in the late stage of dementia need 24-hour care and assistance.
Even if your loved one does experience more severe symptoms, there are still ways to interact with them. You can:
- Read their favorite book(s) out loud to them
- Sit outside and look at birds/enjoy the weather
- Give them a hand massage using their favorite lotions or oils (familiar smells can be powerful for evoking memories)
- Put on their favorite music/songs and listen or sing along
Don’t underestimate the power of being present with your loved one, even if there’s not much actual engagement. The simple act of being with them is enough.
Expert Advice on How to Entertain an Elderly Person With Dementia
From playing games and going on walks to watching movies or looking at photo albums, keeping your loved ones active and engaged can help preserve their quality of life and slow down dementia’s progression.
Regardless of which stage of dementia your loved one is in, there are a lot of good activities for seniors with dementia that you can integrate into your loved one’s life.
But sometimes caring for a loved one or knowing how to interact with them can be challenging.
If you need help providing care to a loved one with dementia or want to talk with a dementia care expert about the best activities to do with older adults with dementia, we’re here for you.
At Stowell Associates, our Care Managers have special training for and experience with caring for individuals with dementia. They can come alongside you and:
- Consult with you about how to provide care for your loved one
- Provide you with care resources to make the caregiving process easier
- Help you make decisions regarding your loved one
- Perform a Creative Engagement assessment to help you brainstorm good activities
We also have a partnership with a home care agency, called TheKey. Our Care Managers can connect you with their professional in-home caregivers and help oversee that process.
Contact us today to talk with a Care Manager and get the help you need looking after your loved one with dementia.