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7 Stimulating Activities for Older Adults with Dementia

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Despite experiencing cognitive decline, seniors with dementia can still live rewarding lives. Various activities can provide a sense of familiarity, structure, and self-recognition. Here are a few activities that can stimulate a senior’s emotions and cognitive and physical functions. 

1. Watching Old Movies

Choose one of your elderly loved one’s favorite films. Watching old movies often stimulates the memory and positive thoughts of the past. Comedies stimulate the production of neurotransmitters that alter mood and induce relaxation. Seniors experiencing anxiety or agitation can become calmer after watching an old movie from their past.

Watching old movies is one of the many ways seniors can recall memories, slow cognitive decline, and enjoy a high quality of life. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Bethlehem home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

2. Dancing

Listening to familiar music and dancing can stimulate memory and create a positive mood. If your loved one likes to dance, encourage him or her to do so. Dancing is a form of physical exercise that can boost cardiovascular health. 

3. Creating Art

Engaging in artistic endeavors triggers the senses of sight and touch as well as memories. Using the hands to draw, paint, or sculpt enhances fine motor skills. Encourage your loved one to paint and draw using watercolors or markers on a sketch pad. The finished piece may offer a sense of accomplishment. 

4. Going on Nature Walks

A pleasant stroll through a community park provides seniors with physical exercise and the enjoyment of being outdoors. Choose a season when flowers are in bloom or the colors of fall are vibrant. The beauty of the natural surroundings may have a calming effect on seniors with dementia. If there are children playing around the park, the sight may trigger memories of raising a family. 

5. Planting a Starter Garden

Many older adults tended gardens as a hobby or as a means to stretch the food budget. Consider creating a greenhouse garden with your loved one. This activity stimulates memory along with the visual and tactile senses. Inexpensive starter gardens come in a variety of sizes. Simply add peat moss pots, seeds, and a bit of water. Depending on the stage of dementia, your loved one may or may not experience the anticipation of seeing the sprouts. However, once they appear, he or she may feel a sense of joy. Your loved one may also enjoy transplanting the seedlings. 

If your elderly loved one needs assistance with gardening or other daily tasks and you don’t have time to help him or her, hire a professional caregiver. Bethlehem respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

6. Going on a Car Ride

Take a scenic drive together with your loved one and enjoy the sights. If the drive ventures through a familiar location, the sight of certain landscape or architectural features may trigger memories. During the holidays, you might also consider driving around the community and allowing your loved one to see the light displays. The twinkling lights or animated displays may spark childhood wonder and delight. Excursions can also provide a sense of calmness and peace. 

7. Looking at Photo Albums

Go through the family photo albums and enjoy the pictures with your loved one. Different photographs may stimulate a memory about particular events or eras. Looking at photo albums together gives the whole family a chance to share happy times.

Dementia is just one of many challenges seniors may face while aging in place. Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Bethlehem, PA, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. If your aging loved one needs assistance with daily tasks or comprehensive 24-hour care, call Home Care Assistance today at 484-350-3874 to speak with one of our friendly Care Managers.