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Why are Activities for Dementia So Important?

Posted by on 4/27/2016 to Dementia Activities
Staying involved in daily tasks and activities can improve the quality of life for the person with dementia and can also help those around them. Activities can bring enjoyment and laughter, along with a sense of purpose and feeling included. 

Benefits of Activities to the Person with Dementia

  • Activities can bring enjoyment and pleasure. They can be a way to have fun and laugh together!
  • By using the skills the person still has, he or she can remain more independent for as long as possible.
  • Activities can help people to express feelings and can relieve feelings of anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty.
  • Activities can promote interacting with others and can prevent the person from becoming isolated. They can bridge a gap when people come to visit and are unsure what to say.
  • Helping with a task or doing an activity together can help the person feel purposeful and included. It can also help the person feel more secure.
  • Physical activity can help both physical and mental well-being, such as walking, dancing, and swimming.

Benefits of Activities to Caregivers of People with Dementia

  • Doing activities together can help maintain the connection, which is important as the person's role changes over time
  • Activities can add into the flow and routine of the day, providing structure that can help the day go smoother
  • Activities can help reduce dementia-related behaviors such as repeated questions and shadowing, or following the caregiver around
  • Getting out of the house for activities can help reduce isolation for the caregiver, as well

Now that you know the benefits of activity engagement for the person with dementia, you are ready to think about what types of activities you might try, how the stage of dementia will affect your choices, how to present different activities so the person will be more likely to participate - basically, how do you get engagement in activities and tasks to happen when the person no longer can do things like before?

We have put together a tipsheet for you with 10 things to help with keeping the person with dementia active and engaged. Print or save the tipsheet for your reference and refer to it again when things start getting more difficult or when previously enjoyed activities no longer work. The person will appreciate you, as you help him or her to keep doing and to keep being.

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