The Havre Daily News’ recent article entitled “Alzheimer’s Association offers tips for keeping people with dementia engaged during stay-at-home orders” reported that, to help caregivers engage their family members suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association has provided some ideas to assist.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to degenerate and die. This disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is defined as a continuous decline in thinking, as well as behavioral and social skills that disrupts a person’s ability to function independently.
When considering how to help a person with dementia stay engaged during the pandemic, the release from the Alzheimer’s Association said, you can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What do they like to do?
- What are they able to do?
- What are they in the mood for today?
The Alzheimer’s Association says that spending time with a family member or loved one with Alzheimer’s and other dementia can still be a meaningful and fun experience, especially if you take your cue from them. Let’s look at some ideas:
Encourage involvement in daily life activities. These types of basic activities can help the person feel like a valued part of the household. This can be things like setting the table and folding laundry. The tasks can give a dementia patient a sense of success and accomplishment.
Be ready to adjust and modify activities. Some activities that the person enjoys may need to be changed or modified, because of the stay-at-home orders in effect in most states. A few ideas are low-impact at-home workout videos; playing games like checkers, cards, or board games; or looking at photo albums.
Concentrate on individual enjoyment. Someone who’s worked in an office might enjoy activities that involve organizing, such as collating papers, putting coins in a holder, or creating a to-do list. A former farmer or gardener may like being in the fresh air and working in the yard.
Don’t be afraid to request help. Ask family members and friends for help with some non-contact chores. This might include help putting the trash out, collecting the mail, or tending to the yard. You should also look into meal and grocery delivery services.
The Alzheimer’s Association now has free expanded educational programs via telephone and online. These programs provide crucial information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias, effective communication techniques, understanding and responding to dementia-related behaviors and more.
There are also additional resources for caregivers on the association’s website at https://www.alz.org.
Reference: Havre Daily News (April 14, 2020) “Alzheimer’s Association offers tips for keeping people with dementia engaged during stay-at-home orders”