Experts estimate that roughly 5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, making it the most common form of dementia in the United States today. Cognitive function decreases as Alzheimer's continues to develop, which can make engaging with a dementia patient difficult at times. Finding fun activities to participate in with a dementia patient can be a simple way to enhance the quality of his or her daily life.
Here are two fun activities that dementia patients can safely engage in within their own homes.
1. Sculpting with modeling clay.
Having the opportunity to use some modeling clay to create sculpted objects can be enjoyable for dementia patients. Not only does the modeling clay provide a medium through which someone with dementia can physically engage with the world around them, but kneading the clay can also provide exercise for hands that might suffer from arthritis.
In order to ensure that any artistic activity involving modeling clay doesn't pose a threat to the health and safety of someone with dementia, it can be beneficial to create your own clay at home. Combining one cup each of flour, salt, and water in a pot over low heat (and adding a few drops of food coloring for interest) creates a modeling clay that is safe for human consumption. Your dementia patients won't experience any negative side effects if they inadvertently eat some of your homemade modeling clay.
2. Create a scrapbook.
A stack of old magazines, some construction paper, and a glue stick can provide hours of fun for your dementia patients by giving them the ability to create a scrapbook. It can be beneficial to give your patients a theme (like birds, animals, or cars) and have them look through the magazines for images that fit that theme.
Once these images have been located you can help your patients cut them out and glue them to the construction paper. Once the scrapbook is complete you can go for a walk and have your dementia patients point out real-world objects that are similar to the pictures in their homemade scrapbooks. This type of visual recognition can be helpful in encouraging dementia patients to exercise the memory center of their brains.
Finding ways to keep dementia patients entertained and engaged can be challenging. By taking the time to make a batch of modeling clay or create a scrapbook, you can introduce more elements of fun into the daily lives of those who suffer from dementia.
If you're interested in learning more about in-home care and assisted living services for someone with dementia, check out companies like In Your Home Care.