When a loved one has a disease that causes mental impairment, even basic tasks can become a challenge. Every day living without fun however, can also lose its appeal. Fun activities are an important part of their lives, not just to help break up the monotony of daily living, but also to help maintain brain function.
When someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia participates in regular activities that help stimulate the brain, it can help them maintain their brain function and slow mental decline. Here are a few tips on fun activities to keep your elderly loved one happy and healthy.
Bingo is a fun and simple game that can be adapted to just about every level of mental health. It can also help stimulate memory and thinking skills. Bingo can also have surprising physical and emotional benefits as well.
Spending time playing the game can make those living with dementia laugh, relieving stress and helping them enjoy the company of others.
Card Matching Games
Another fun game that can be modified to most stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s is card matching. The game can be made more complex by adding more potential matches, or simplified with fewer matches. Playing matching games can help stimulate memory and help maintain mental health while still having fun.
Making a Memory Box
Many elderly people have a rich history full of wonderful things to remember. Sometimes they may have trouble accessing those memories, but it doesn’t mean you should be afraid of them. Bringing favorite things from their past together can help give them a chance to talk about what they do remember.
A memory box can include anything from their past life. This might include pictures of family, but also things like office supplies for someone who was an office worker, or simple tools like nuts and bolts for someone who worked as a mechanic.
Care should be taken that there is nothing sharp or overly dangerous in the memory box, but otherwise the sky is the limit for what can go inside.
There is something healing about nature. Many people find spending time under trees soothing and relaxing. Nature walks on broad, flat trails or at a park can be manageable for almost anyone, and can be very beneficial to those who choose to go on them.
If the weather is beautiful, taking a gentle walk in a beautiful environment can be one of the simplest yet most enjoyable ways to engage the brain.
Visit with a pet
Animals also have their own healing bond. Some dementia centers even have live-in pets who bring joy to the residents. Petting an animal can help lower blood pressure and improve mood. If a dementia patient can not have their own pet due to no one being available to care for them, a visit from a therapy animal or even a stuffed animal can provide similar comforts.
Just because someone lives with a disease such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, does not mean they want to stop having fun. These fun and engaging activities can help stimulate the brain and give that person something to look forward to.