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How Do You Facilitate Activities For Seniors With Dementia?

These are different variations that you can use below. Most importantly, do make conversations with seniors while carrying out the activity. Questions can include whether objects are familiar to them, or how they feel about the activity.

Keep this in mind: The aim of the activity is not to strive for perfection, but to create opportunities to engage them and create positive memories together.

Creating A Conducive Environment For The Activity

Start by choosing a quiet and conducive space. This is especially important for seniors with moderate to severe dementia as they can get distracted or overwhelmed.

The environment may have a varying effect on each individual. Some may be okay with light music — others, not so. But, it’s important to always monitor the seniors and look out for responses to new stimuli (these could be objects, lights or sound that has been introduced into the setting). This is especially so for moderate to severe dementia where they may have speech impairment and difficulty expressing themselves. Do look out for how they are reacting or responding to such stimuli.

Mild Dementia

You can give the senior instructions and materials and leave them to the activity. Show them a completed version of  the activity so they know what the goal of the activity is. They can be independent and need minimal assistance. Be prepared to step in if they need extra help.

Encourage creativity while they are doing the activity.

Moderate Dementia

Do sit beside the senior as he or she tries out the activity. They need step-by-step verbal and physical instructions.

They may have difficulties finding the right words to say.

You can guide them through the steps slowly. Keep verbal instructions short and sweet.  Repeat it to them and point out the materials to them. Assist them with the activity if they need help with assembling or picking up certain items.

Severe Dementia

For seniors with severe dementia, it’s more about the sensory aspect of the activity. You can get them to feel certain objects or be familiar with repetitive movements. Guide their hands to participate in the activity.

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