Incorporating Activities in Dementia Care
The person living with dementia may become more reluctant to do activities as their abilities decline. This may be to fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or just due to the nature of the disease. All can lead to inactivity. People with mild cognitive impairment or beginning early stage dementia can take steps themselves to stay active. As the person declines, he will need the guidance and support of caregivers - which may be family or hired staff in a private home or "home" in a memory care facility. MindStart activity products give all types of caregivers quick and easy to use items.
Tips for the Person Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Beginning Early Stage Dementia
The person with mild cognitive impairment or beginning early stage dementia should continue to do activities they enjoy for as long as they can. Modifications can be made, if needed, to ensure safety and success. The caregiver should be careful to not take over activities too soon. If needed, the caregiver can do the task together with the person, for example, balancing a checkbook together.
People at this level may also enjoy new hobbies that are convenient to engage in, such as bird watching or coloring in a MindStart adult art book
. Involvement in support groups with other people in the same situation can be very empowering and reassuring. Including daily mental exercise, such as reading or word games
, and daily physical exercise, is also very important. The person may also want to start a MindStart life journal book
, which allows them to state their wishes, likes and dislikes, so that they can be remembered and honored.
Tips for Dementia Care
Set-up and Communication Approaches for Dementia Activities
Dementia care in the later-early stage dementia, midde, and late stages may require consideration of these factors, when keeping the person with dementia active:
Stage of dementia and appropriate dementia activity level
, so the caregiver doesn't choose something too hard or too easy. MindStart activity products gives choices for the right level of challenge.
Time of day – for example, a more physical activity for when the person has more energy and a low-key activity for later in the day
The environment where the activity takes place – is it too loud, is the area cluttered? Aim for a calm setting.
The communication approach:
The caregiver may ask the person indirectly to participate. For example, instead of, “Do you want to play a game?” try “I have something that I need your help with.” This approach can be less threatening to the person with dementia.
Be flexible and allow for errors; it is the doing that is important, not the outcome
Give praise and thanks for the efforts made by the person
Learning to Simplify for Alzheimer Activities
Activities can be simplified in a progressive manner to allow success for multiple stages of Alzheimer's or other dementia. Types of activities
can include self-care skills, physical activities, cognitive tasks
, and reminiscing
. Here is an example of how you would simplifty the activity of washing dishes, starting from the caregiver providing minimal assistance to maximal assistance:
Set-up: The person can complete the activity after the required supplies are set-up. The soap and dishrag are place next to the sink of dirty dishes.
Supervision: The person requires supervision to help with recognizing errors and solving unexpected problems. The correct water temperature is monitored
Prompting: The person requires verbal and/or physical prompts. A missed stain is pointed out or “what next?” is asked when the dishes are washed but not dried.
Direct verbal cues: The person requires cues delivered one or two steps at a time. “Put the soap in the water. Rub the plate with the washcloth”, etc.
Physical assistance: The person requires your hand over theirs to direct the action. Your hand over their hand, guides the motion of washing the dish.