What gets you up and out of bed each morning? Most of us have a lengthy list of to-dos that motivates us to get started on the day. As much as we might wish we could keep hitting the snooze button, having a feeling of purpose is actually crucial to our health. That is true for a person with dementia as well.
When taking care of a loved one with dementia, it is natural to want to do whatever you can for the person. While the intentions behind that line of thought are to help make life better and easier, it could have the reverse impact. It’s important to boost self-esteem in a loved one with dementia by encouraging them to tackle tasks and participate in meaningful activities, even if this means a little additional time and patience from you.
What Are Some Good Activities for Someone With Dementia?
There is an endless list of activities suitable for someone with dementia. It begins with activities of daily life, the things we hardly give a second thought to: prepping and eating meals, taking a shower or bath, and getting dressed. But imagine having these daily tasks taken over by somebody else. What would it do to your self-esteem?
With some support and modifications, a person in the early and middle stages of dementia can still do these activities. For instance, if:
- Buttons and zippers are too cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled on and off more easily.
- Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is no longer possible, consider which steps the person can still accomplish: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.
- Removing the toothpaste cap and squeezing the right amount onto the toothbrush is challenging, take care of that step for the person, leaving the toothbrush on the side of the sink to enable them to brush independently.
In addition, you will want to be sure there are plenty of fun and engaging activities for the person to enjoy during the day as well. Base these activities on their current and/or past interests. Consider:
- Ability-appropriate puzzles and games
- Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
- Taking a regular walk around the block or in the yard, enjoying nature and talking with neighbors
- Organizing nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders
- Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if necessary
If you would like more information on how to boost self-esteem in a loved one with dementia, the home care experts at Absolute Companion Care are trained in innovative techniques that make every day the very best it can be. Contact us online or call us at 410-357-9640 for additional information about how our dementia care services in Timonium, Towson, Monkton, and the nearby areas can improve life for someone you love.