Patients with dementia can benefit from stimulating activities and exercises that can help to enhance their quality of life. Games that stimulate the brain can bring joy while also reducing behaviors that can be harmful. Patients can be unpredictable, so it is necessary to be patient and flexible when choosing activities. Therapeutic activities should be failure-free, stimulating, and not stressful. The following are the top activities for dementia patients.
- Playing Games
Games can help to improve the patient’s cognitive abilities. Many games can help patients with dementia. Some of the most popular ones include Scrabble, Monopoly, Dominos, Bingo, Checkers, Jenga, Solitaire and Sudoku. The games can be played individually or in groups.
- Looking at Scrapbooks
Looking through scrapbooks and photo albums are great activities for patients with dementia. The images can bring back pleasant memories and result in meaningful conversations. Asking questions helps the patient to remember or create stories.
- Crossword Puzzles
Crosswords are some of the oldest games, and they are also the most stimulating. Patients with dementia can enjoy solving crosswords every day. They entertain while also being educational. They help to expand the patient’s vocabulary, support verbal fluency and improve attention span.
- MentalUP Brain Games
The MentalUP app helps to stimulate the mind. With hundreds of games to choose from, the supportive tool helps to improve memory in people with dementia. The exercises are available for different levels and interests. They include memory, focus, logic, math and mental exercises.
- Cooking or Baking
Cooking is a great way to stimulate the five senses. Patients with dementia can enjoy the cooking process and the rewards. Before embarking on cooking, ensure that the patient can remain engaged and interested. Sometimes, patients may prefer to watch others cook.
Working in the garden provides mental and physical stimulation for dementia patients. Those who love gardening can benefit from outdoor or indoor gardening as it helps to stimulate the senses and mind. It can boost confidence and self-esteem and is an opportunity to get fresh air.
Reading is a great activity for patients with dementia. Reading helps with eyesight, neural connections and verbal fluency. Reading can be interactive when patients participate in book club sessions. Listening to audiobooks can be helpful for patients who feel too weak to read.
Encouraging patients with dementia to write can help to stimulate the brain and boost their creativity. Writing exercises can help the patient’s memory and can be very relaxing. Journaling or consistently writing in a diary can help the patient be self-aware.
- Music Therapy
Listening to music or playing a musical instrument can be therapeutic, and its healing effects are evident in dementia patients. Music helps to boost brain cells by keeping them engaged. Music can be fun and provides an opportunity for patients to socialize.
Activities for patients with dementia are not just mental, they are also physical. Physical activities allow patients to focus on something other than their condition or feelings. Walking outdoors will help the patient exercise their muscles while enjoying the environment.
Other activities for dementia patients include painting or creating art. It allows individuals to express themselves and can help to improve memory.