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January 12, 2023

Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Ways to Engage With Your Loved One

Engage your loved one with Alzheimer’s/Dementia in a variety of rewarding and enjoyable activities. From puzzles to stories, music to gardening, there are plenty of fun tasks they can take part in. Getting creative is key – it could be something as simple as folding the laundry together or taking an evening stroll around the block. Caretakers will delight in finding ways for their dear ones to stay active and connected no matter what circumstances arise.

Here are some tips and suggestions to encourage your loved one to participate more fully in meaningful activities.

Understand the Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

When it comes to hobbies, don’t forget what used to bring your loved one joy. Think of activities they once found satisfying and encouraging; perhaps something like drawing that may have fallen away but can still be incorporated in a simplified form. Not only will this help keep them engaged, but is also achievable with their current capabilities.

Be Patient – Don’t Get Frustrated if Your Loved One Can’t Always Follow a Conversation

It can be incredibly difficult to watch a loved one experience Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. However, remaining tolerant and understanding is the perfect way to show your support. Take time out each day just for you two, even if it means something as simple as sitting quietly together, which will help them stay calm and may open up conversation opportunities too.

  • Try a different activity when your loved one is not having fun. Be honest about the amount of work you can get done at once, and speed up or slow down as necessary.
  • Ensure that the participant wants to participate in the exercise and that you’re moving slowly and gently.
  • Once you can, take part in worthwhile and beneficial activities. It may improve the individual’s disposition and give them a feeling of direction.
  • Children should be taught that even when an adult with Alzheimer’s disease forgets them occasionally or repeatedly asks the same questions, people can still interact with them to have fun together.

Talk to Them About Things They’re Interested In, Even if It’s Something You’re Not Familiar With

Everybody has a diverse set of interests and pastimes. Speaking with a loved one regarding their favorite subjects or sporting events may be entertaining. You may even want to turn on an old TV show or recorded sports game to trigger memories of happier days in the past. This offers several advantages, including promoting constructive conversation, aiding in their reconnection with their childhood, and giving them a sense of worth.

You might even try reading their favorite book to them if they used to like reading but are now finding it difficult to do so. Even better, turn on an audiobook or cassette of their favorite book. If they don’t consider television entertaining, this may be a wiser choice.

Feel Free to Ask For Help From Professionals or Other Family Members

You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Take steps to build a helpful support system, involving your extended family and friends or even service organizations. Also, be sure to prioritize yourself. Carving out time for self-care is essential in order allow you sustain the energy needed when caring for others. Why not plan regular breaks throughout the day? While it may seem counterintuitive at first, taking vacations can actually bolster your caregiving capabilities, so give an extra thought before skipping them next time.

You may also find it beneficial to connect with people who have experienced what you are going over firsthand to lessen emotions of loneliness, anxiety, and hopelessness. There are many ways to reach out and find a support group near you, including contacting local organizations and even searching online.

Make Time for Them, Even if It’s Just for a Few Minutes Each Day

Showing your warmth and care for a loved one is the greatest gift. Even when words may not be enough, being present with open arms can make an incredible difference in their day. Connect on a deeper level by engaging them through meaningful conversations; maintain friendly eye contact as you do so to show that they have your full attention. Make quality time together enjoyable despite any challenges Alzheimer’s or dementia might bring. It will mean more than anything else could ever say.

By sharing activities that your loved one enjoys, you can make their life more enjoyable and help to reduce any disruptive behaviors caused by the condition. Not only will this strengthen the bond between both of you, but it could also be beneficial for managing sleep issues or coping with anger or restlessness.

Show Them You Love Them – Give Hugs, Say “I Love You,” and Spend Time Together When Possible

Tactile communication can be an incredibly powerful form of expression, especially amongst those battling dementia or Alzheimer’s. Not only is there great potential to help reduce stress among patients, but also for the individual providing comfort. Such comforting gestures prove that sometimes we need more than words and facial expressions; a simple embrace has the power to bring solace during difficult times.

Summing Up

When it comes to caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, nothing is more important than creating moments of meaningful connection. Even if your initial attempts are met with resistance or disinterest, don’t give up – try again another time and make the most out of every opportunity.

It’s important to focus on the process and enjoyment of the activity rather than the final outcome. The most important thing is that your loved one has fun and feels valued.

Memory care at Springpoint Living at Manalapan is a safe, supportive, and secure environment where individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can find brightness every day. Contact us to find out more.

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