Caregivers in Berwyn, IL: Activities for Dementia Patients

While there is not yet a cure for Alzheimer’s or other dementia diseases, there are things that can be done to minimize the devastating effects of these illnesses on the patient, their families and the staff of agencies involved in their care.

Having some positive activities to do gives the whole caregiver – loved one relationship a renewed sense of identity, of purpose and of control. It is important that the loved one feel good about herself, despite all the changes the illness has made in her life. It gives her a positive experience and a renewed sense of confidence in herself, despite the frustrations she may be feeling.

Caregivers in Berwyn, ILThe benefits of keeping the dementia patient busy

Often in life we try to find the shortcut – the way to get as much done in as little time as possible. It makes our lives easier and takes some of the pressure off our busy schedules. We try to avoid ‘busy work’ as much as possible and only look for the method that is most efficient.

However, as the family caregiver for the dementia patient, you need to apply a different strategy for them. Here’s why: the key for helping and managing someone with dementia is to keep them busy, keep them constantly distracted so they don’t focus on a source of anxiety or don’t focus on a problem behavior.

It doesn’t mean that their ‘busy work’ does not have a sense of accomplishment or a goal in mind. The simple fact that the task engages your loved one, gives her a sense of purpose, helps her feel she accomplished something, or distracts her from being lonely – gives the task a grand purpose!

Characteristics of appropriate activities for the loved one with dementia

  • Something familiar to the loved one – something they have done many, many times; second nature, so to speak. Examples are floor sweeping, lawn raking, wiping tables or drying dishes
    • Folding towels
    • Chopping up vegetables
    • Winding string onto a spool
    • Something that will allow them to feel successful – the person with dementia too often realizes what they can no longer do. It is very frustrating and aggravating for them. Great activities are those activities that give them a sense of purpose as well as a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps something from their past that’s not too complicated. Something they have done many times over.
      • Singing of a certain song
      • Playing of a musical instrument, for example harmonica
      • Turning screws to connect pieces of wood

People with dementia are not so different from other people in at least this one sense: they need something that helps them feel successful, some area in which they can shine.

For Senior Care Services in Berwyn, IL call 708-761-4909. Serving La Grange, Oakbrook, Oak Brook Terrace, Brookfield, Westchester, Downers Grove, Berwyn, River Forest, Oak Park, Hinsdale, Chicago and surrounding communities.

About Joan Cisneros LPN

Joan Cisneros is COO and Agency Manager at Private Home Care Services of Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Joan has over 25 years of professional healthcare experience, including Private Duty Home Care, nursing, insurance, case management, training, and operations. Her area of expertise is Alzheimer¹s care, which she knows from both a professional and personal perspective. Her solid capabilities are enhanced by her compassionate approach and her personal mission to help people maintain their independence by providing the best possible home care.