March 15, 2021
Finding activities that can be engaging and fun for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease tends to be a challenge. Add in vision impairment , and it may seem extremely daunting. Even so it’s important to make sure each day holds opportunities for purpose, joy, and meaning – reducing the level of frustration, agitation, and other difficult behaviors and emotions in Alzheimer’s.
First, consider the senior’s past and current hobbies, interests and lifestyle. Then think of creative strategies to engage seniors that draw on those preferences. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you begin:
- Assemble a playlist of the senior’s favorite songs or genre of music, and then dance, sing along, keep the beat with a tambourine or a sealed container of dried beans or uncooked rice. Talk about the memories the music raises.
- Read aloud, choosing articles or stories that are easy to follow and on issues that are of interest to the senior. For example, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his/her favorite teams and players, and then talking about highlights from the past as well.
- Get moving for increased circulation and muscle tone, as well as to help encourage daytime wakefulness and better nighttime sleeping. If weather allows, exercising outdoors is a wonderful option to add in vitamin D and fresh air. Try walks in nature, pointing out the particular birds, flowers, trees, etc. that you pass on the way.
- Try out a number of tactile art mediums which can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing shells, buttons, dried pasta, etc. into a pattern or shape.
- Include a senior loved one in ability-appropriate tasks around the house. Food preparation offers many different options, like washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart bananas or oranges, and mixing ingredients for cookies. Or ask your senior loved one to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
- Try pet therapy. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted cat or dog for the older adult to hold or pet. Even though this might seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending time with an animal may be significant.
Our care professionals are knowledgeable in creative strategies to engage seniors of any ability level to make daily life more enjoyable. Give us a call for senior home care in St.Charles and the surrounding area!