Dementia Care – Activities
For Elders living with diagnosis of a Dementia, activities that don’t feel like exercise are a wonderful way to help improve mobility, strength and balance.
Exercise is any activity that raises the heart rate, and undertaking it regularly is important to an Elder’s health and wellbeing. People with a type of dementia will often balk at structured activities but may readily join in with familiar ones; if they can go at their own pace. Our Live In and Pay By The Hour Caregivers and Private Nurses work with our clients to include exercise such as (but not limited to) the following:
|Dancing – simply put on some age appropriate music; something your client/Loved
One may have listened to in the past. If the person with a dementia doesn’t know
how to dance, a simple dance move or even just any movement (moving from side
to side) can be relaxing and enjoyable, as long as their partner can take the lead.
|Gardening – raking, mowing the lawn, watering, pruning and sweeping are good forms of
exercise. Potting and planting are often enjoyable sensory activities, especially if
you elder enjoyed gardening in the past. Being outdoors is therapeutic and often
helps relax and calm a person’s mood. Make sure you are on hand to help as required.
Sunlight tires people out.
|Housework – such as vacuuming, cooking, hanging/folding washing etc.,
are not only a good form of exercise but can help the person with a dementia
maintain a level of control and help them feel they are contributing to the running
of their home. Most people with a dementia can continue to perform certain types
of housework they are familiar with. Ensure they are supervised.
|Art – activities such as painting, drawing and scrapbooking can be achieved with
patience, and with some assistance in the initial stages. Even a visit to a gallery to
see some art has been proven to reduce anxiety, agitation and apathy.
Being in a creative headspace helps awaken people’s ‘emotional memories’
which in turn helps them to relate better to people and surroundings.
More on Art and quality dementia care.
|Music – uses many parts of the brain to listen to and process it, even for people
with advanced dementia. Use music that is familiar and evokes positive emotions,
such as music they ‘fell in love’ to. Music can also be a communication conduit
and, when we strike the right chord, people with a Dementia will sing along, dance,
reminisce and feel joyful and peaceful. More on music – and how it is integrated in
our quality dementia care – can be found on these pages: Dementia Care with Music & Memory, Music & Memory Program, Amazing Power of Music.