SUPPORT FOR OLDER ADULTS WITH MEMORY LOSS AND THEIR FAMILIES

What Are The Best Activities For People with Dementia?

Dementia can rob a person of so many things, a sense of purpose is one of the many tangible areas of jeopardy. As CAREgivers we are empowered be knowing the right activities that help safeguard this potential risk.

As the first Adult Day Program and Counseling Center in Los Angeles, OPICA has been providing programs including research informed, worthwhile activities for adults challenged with memory loss for more than 35 years. OPICA knows that a structured, yet socially engaging, nurturing and fun environment enables persons with dementia to experience an overall improved quality of life, including dignity, meaning, and a sense of self-worth.

Persons with dementia require help building and maintaining a similarly productive environment at home. Creating a fixed but flexible plan does require a time investment on the part of the family, but such a routine directly translates into a meaningful existence and greater overall well being for the entire family.

Start with a list of useful activities for your loved one. According to National Alzheimer’s Association simple things like helping with household chores creates a sense of usefulness for persons with dementia. Folding towels, sorting laundry, setting the table for a meal, putting away objects, or even taking out the trash all seem like simple tasks but over time the withdrawal of these tasks is what results in the absence of purpose.

Next, develop a list of fun activities for your loved one. Consider their hobbies prior to dementia and try to embrace ways they might still enjoy these arenas. A past photographer might enjoy cutting pictures from magazines. A past cyclist might enjoy a stationary bike. Be creative and involve the entire family in the planning.

Last, develop a list of activities that stimulate the senses. OPICA hosts a Pinterest board that will help you with this list HERE. You can also find “101 Activities” on ALZ.org.

Create a schedule each week that is sprinkled with activities from all three lists. Stay inspired by adding to your lists and by utilizing respite services like the ones offered at OPICA… for more information about our program activities click HERE

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