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Ways People Can Lead Self-Directed, High-Quality Lives in Mid- to Late-Stage Dementia

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When dementia progresses and your loved one’s abilities change, the road ahead can feel daunting and overwhelming at times. Each person has a unique story and a variety of interests, no matter how far the symptoms of dementia have progressed. Keeping your loved one active and engaged with activities they enjoy can help them have the best quality of life possible, and provide rewarding experiences for both of you.

Need some ideas to help your loved one stay engaged with you and their environment? Look at the following list of activities for people living with dementia, put together by our experts at Signature Pointe. 

Activities for Seniors with Mid-Stage Dementia 

Activities that involve some physical movement, motor skills, and social interaction are especially beneficial for someone in the middle stages of dementia. Most seniors can continue participating in their favorite activities by simply changing the activity to match their abilities. 

Here’s a list of engaging activities a person with mid-stage dementia can still enjoy:

Cooking. Choose a favorite recipe with your loved one, assemble the ingredients, and walk through the steps together. Your loved one can help with easy tasks like washing produce, mixing ingredients, and helping clean up. They’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment, and you’ll both get to enjoy sharing a meal together.

Gardening. Taking care of plants and watching them grow is a rewarding activity for seniors in mid-stage dementia; this also provides a healthy dose of fresh air and sunshine.

Reading. A person who was an avid reader throughout their life may struggle to read as the symptoms of dementia progress. To continue reading, they’ll need books with simple plots and easy-to-comprehend language. Fortunately, there are several outstanding books written for people living with dementia. Audio books are another great option if your loved one enjoys listening to stories.

Swimming. Spending time in the pool swimming or water walking is a great way to get moving for those in the early to middle stages of dementia. Many seniors enjoy the calming sensation of being in water. 

Walking. Walking is the perfect way to get your loved one moving, and it’s suitable for all abilities. Give them the opportunity to get social by joining a walking group.

Your loved one will have good days and bad days, and it can be painful to see them struggle with hobbies or everyday tasks that used to come easily. The most effective support you can offer is to encourage your loved one to keep trying and help them navigate their changing abilities with dementia. 

Activities for Seniors Living with Late-Stage Dementia

There is a full range of activities you can do with people living in the late stages of dementia. The most important aspect of engaging with your loved one is allowing ample time to sit with them. Many people living with dementia can still sense when someone isn’t fully present, and are less likely to find a connection with the person trying to engage them. 

Here are some ways you can help your loved one stay engaged:

Drumming. Turn on some music and tap along to the beat. It’s a great way to make music and put a smile on your loved one’s face.

Calming touch. Massaging your loved one’s hands with a lightly scented cream helps you feel a close connection even when communication is difficult.

Artistic expression. Some crafty ideas include using stamps or stickers to make a collage, working with clay or salt dough to form sculptures, painting with watercolors, or creating a bouquet by attaching an assortment of ribbons and bows to a paper plate.

Folding. While they may not make perfect squares, your loved one will still feel a sense of comfort and confidence when they perform a daily task like folding towels, blankets or clothing. 

Wrapping. Who doesn’t like to receive presents? Find something like a hatbox or decorative bottle and wrap it. Not only will your loved one like picking at the paper; they’ll also delight at the small prize inside.

As time goes on, there will be satisfying moments and frustrating moments, but as long as you stay patient and keep trying, you’ll both benefit from spending special time together. 

Discover the Benefits of Personalized Memory Care

At Parkwood, we offer a nationally recognized philosophy of dementia care called Heartfelt CONNECTIONS A Memory Care Program®. Heartfelt CONNECTIONS is a highly individualized plan tailored to your loved one’s personality and interests. It stimulates all five senses and activates their minds with person-centered care, instead of focusing on the limitations of their condition.

The principal focus of the Heartfelt CONNECTIONS program at Parkwood is preserving a person’s individuality, which can be a source of comfort for people with dementia and caregivers alike. The program is designed with the following goals in mind:

  • Helping those with dementia discover what brings them joy
  • Promoting a sense of independence 
  • Changing the environment to suit the individual
  • Respecting and highlighting a person’s history and personality
  • Offering personalized care through tailored activities

Our Memory Care neighborhood encourages making heartfelt connections with your loved one, where every interaction is positive and uplifting, and they’re inspired to find their own joy and feel a sense of accomplishment. Read another of our blog posts to learn more about communicating with your loved one as dementia progresses.

See How Your Loved One with Dementia Can Thrive at Signature Pointe

Heartfelt CONNECTIONS, the personalized Memory Care program offered at Signature Pointe, consists of unique activities and amenities to enrich the life of your loved one. With special options ranging from music and art therapy to a warm and secure environment, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved one’s care is in good hands. We invite you to learn more about our Memory Care program and contact us to schedule a tour today.

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