Activities, games, and stimulation for Alzheimer’s and dementia: tips and advice
How to choose them and their benefits
If your loved one has a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s, you know that they can often be bored. Days can feel even longer for those that live alone, in nursing homes, or are socially isolated.
Many of us who care about them would like to find activities and games to engage them. Wouldn’t it be great to find books, games, or puzzles that are appropriate and would help restore some of the activities and spirit they used to have before getting their disease?
Unfortunately, finding activities that will please a loved one with dementia is not easy. To really be a hit, these activities should:
- Match a person’s age and historical context. The 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal will be more meaningful for most people than the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang!
- Be tailored to their cognitive and memory abilities. What is suitable and enjoyable for a person will vary according to the stage of the disease (mild, moderate, or severe).
- Fit a person’s physical impairments. For example, activities should be tailored to a person’s visual impairment or motor issues (like tremor).
To help you, we’ve tested games and activities for people with Alzheimer’s and cognitive disorders. We’ve selected those that we think will work well. These games and activities can do more than merely entertain, they can also make your loved one’s everyday life easier and more purposeful.
First of all, they reduce boredom which can reduce behavioral issues such as agitation, wandering, or decreased motivation. They can also foster your loved one’s self-confidence and sense of fulfilment since they are appropriate for their memory and cognition. By jump-starting conversations and making social interactions easier, these activities will enable quality time for both you and your loved one. You can even make it an intergenerational affair by including younger family members. Regardless of age and skill, everyone likes to challenge their mind and succeed in doing so!
Even if research has not demonstrated that these activities will delay memory loss, there are still numerous benefits to breaking the routine of everyday life. Keep in mind that the abilities and interests of your loved one can fluctuate from one day to another. Don’t be disappointed if some days turn out worse than others. A big part is knowing how to adapt to the varying context and need.
Want to take action? You can start by exploring our selection of activities and games specifically tailored for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. We hope you’ll find something to put a smile on your loved one’s face!