Finding activities that happen to be fun and engaging for a senior loved one with dementia can be a challenge. Combine vision impairment and Alzheimer’s, and it might seem extremely daunting. Yet it’s very important to make certain each day holds opportunities for joy, purpose, and meaning – reducing the level of frustration and agitation, along with other challenging behaviors and emotions in Alzheimer’s.
First consider the older adult’s past and current hobbies, interests and lifestyle. Then think of strategies to tap into those preferences. We have put together a few ideas to help you begin:
- Come up with a playlist of the senior’s favorite songs or genre of music, and then sing along, dance, keep the beat with a tambourine or a sealed container of dried beans and rice. Talk about the memories the songs evokes.
- Read aloud, choosing stories or articles that are simple to follow and on topics that are of interest to the senior. For example, a sports fan may enjoy hearing an update on his or her favorite teams and players, and then discussing highlights from the past as well.
- Get up and moving for increased circulation and muscle tone, as well as to help encourage daytime wakefulness and improved nighttime sleeping. If weather permits, exercising outdoors is an excellent option to add in vitamin D and fresh air. Try walks in nature, pointing out the specific trees, birds, flowers, etc. that you pass along the way.
- Try out a number of tactile art mediums which can be manipulated without the use of vision, such as clay or sculpting sand. Or try creating a 3-D work of art by gluing shells, buttons, dried pasta, etc. into a shape or pattern.
- Include the senior in ability-appropriate tasks around the house. Food preparation offers a range of options, for example, washing and tearing lettuce for a salad, peeling and breaking apart oranges or bananas, and mixing ingredients for a dessert. Or ask the senior to help with folding laundry or sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox.
- Give pet therapy a try. Specially trained pet therapists can provide a safe, trusted cat or dog for the senior to hold or pet. Even though this might seem simplistic, the joy and relaxing effects of spending some time with an animal can be significant.
Our care professionals are highly-skilled in creative strategies to engage seniors of every ability level to make everyday life more fulfilling. As the one of the top-rated home care agencies in Atlanta, GA we’re here to be a reliable care partner in supporting a senior with vision impairment and Alzheimer’s. Give us a call at 404-228-0103 to learn more about the services we offer. See our service area page for a full list of the communities we serve.