When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia, you may start to notice some progressive changes in daily activity levels and engagement with regular pastimes. However, it’s vitally important to help Alzheimer’s patients stay active by adapting everyday activities because it helps preserve a sense of purpose and bolster feelings of personal autonomy.
Predictability and stability are essential for preventing older adults with dementia from becoming confused or frightened, so planning ahead is the key to success. Planned activities for Alzheimer’s patients can help them maintain an active lifestyle and can also reduce challenging Alzheimer's behaviors like shadowing, agitation, and anger. To follow are some helpful tips from the senior care experts at American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care for adapting everyday activities to keep a loved one with dementia active and engaged.
- Preparation and Set-Up. Prepare the planned activity beforehand to make it easier for your loved one to complete it successfully. For example, lay out freshly laundered socks and ask for help with matching socks together, or put a pile of dirty clothes on the table and have your loved one help sort lights and darks prior to washing.
- Prompting and Cueing. If a senior loved one with dementia becomes easily frustrated with an activity, try prompting him or her onto the next step or task before they become agitated or stuck. Utilize direct verbal cues, guiding your loved one through an activity like dressing with simple, step-by-step instructions. Remember to use a gentle, patient tone and allow plenty of time between each cue for the senior with dementia to complete one action before moving onto the next action.
- Adapting for Ability. Some of the best activities for loved ones with Alzheimer’s are normal daily tasks adapted to meet their abilities. It may be tempting to take over and do everything for a senior loved one with dementia, but including them in regular daily routines is a better way to preserve feelings of independence, normalcy, and purpose. Adapting for ability can be as simple as laying out the items needed for a task and keeping the task as simple as possible. For instance, folding towels or wash cloths is a simple repeatable task and is not as difficult as folding other items of laundry.
- Gentle Physical Assistance. Lastly, some activities may require moderate physical assistance, especially if a loved one is still physically able to do a task, but can’t fully complete it on his or her own. While heavy lifting and reaching things up high might be the first to come to mind, also consider offering physical assistance with simpler tasks, such as gently guiding a loved one’s hand when it looks like he or she is not sure what to do next or holding clothing to assist with getting dressed. Assisted activities are a great way to help those with Alzheimer's maintain daily routines.
Keeping Alzheimer’s patients active helps to ease their feelings of unrest and nurture a sense of independence. The senior care professionals at American, Advocate or Whitsyms In-Home Care are always available to offer additional dementia care resources and support. And when you partner with one of our referred care providers for assistance, you can rest easy knowing that a senior loved one is receiving the finest in-home care.
As the trusted choice for senior in-home care in Florida for over 25 years, our family of brands has offices conveniently located throughout the state:
- American In-Home Care – Serving North, Central, and West Coast of Florida
- Advocate In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
- Whitsyms In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
Contact us today at the location nearest you and let us help find the perfect care provider to meet your needs.
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