Sitting in a room alone with nothing to do can be wearing on anyone, and dementia patients are no different. Whether your loved one lives at home with a spouse, with a family member, or in a senior care facility, boredom can be detrimental to his or her overall health and well-being. In a post a few days ago, we talked about maintaining and improving quality of life in dementia patients. This post will build on that with some tangible ways to beat boredom and keep that quality of life high for your loved one.
Begin this process by identifying interests and strengths, then build from there. Keep in mind that their likes and dislikes may change as the disease progresses, but start with what you know. Ask what he’d like to do more of or what she thinks she’s good at. If they struggle with knowing how to answer your questions, get creative and introduce a few different activities to them. If in their younger years they liked to paint, knit, or build things by hand, try that first. If dexterity is a problem, try activities that utilize other senses like listening to music or an audiobook, going to a community activity such as a chapel service or musical guest, or looking at photos together.
Participating in regular activities that provide entertainment and movement can be good for your loved one’s mental and physical health. When you’re not able to be there right next to them, play a favorite album or a radio station that features the music they’re most familiar with. Or try to incorporate games when you visit--board games or card games may be good for a while, but you may need to adjust the difficulty as your loved one’s physical and mental functioning declines. Lastly, physical activity--in whatever form it comes--can be great for maintaining quality of life. Be sure to work with your loved one’s doctor or physical therapist to find out what types of activity would be safe and beneficial.
As always, please direct any questions about your loved one’s health and well-being to their primary physician or a member of their care team. Additionally, you can contact Dori’s Doves by phone at (218) 849-0631 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about how we can serve you and your loved one throughout their dementia journey.