Choosing Activities to Do With the Dementia Patient


Dementia is a distressing condition of the mind. A dementia patient possesses all mental faculties but is unable to exercise them. Dementia is characterized by forgetfulness, loss of memory, absent mindedness, and similar symptoms. Pressurizing the mind to remember something produces further pressure on a person’s mind. Dementia patients often experience long blanks in memory. There are a number of things that a person who is entrusted with the responsibility of looking after a dementia patient needs to keep in mind. Most importantly, the person needs to have a comprehensive understanding of dementia and how to handle patients suffering from dementia.There is a thin dividing line between giving care and having fun. This is what the care giver needs to always keep in mind. One cannot be so busy care giving that one forgets to keep the patient happy by having fun. Having fun is very important for a dementia patient. Having fun ensures that the patient does not try and put too much pressure on one’s mind to remember something. Also having fun means freedom from depression. Thus the care giver should ideally maintain a balance between care giving and having fun with the dementia patient. This will ensure that both the dementia patient and the care giver remain happy. It is often mistakenly assumed that the dementia patient has lost all of his or her mental faculties. But that is far from the truth. Dementia patients are quite capable of actively participating in almost all the activities that they used to participate in before they developed this distressing condition. Dementia patients are also capable of picking up new skills with the right amount of care. Almost all of their former interests can be pursued by the dementia patients except perhaps extreme sports and other dangerous activities.

While it may be true that a dementia patient may not be capable of initiating a particular innovative activity or a hobby or a game or any other interest, but if the care giver invests the proper amount of time and the right amount of care then the dementia patient may get involved in the activity with enthusiasm. In order for this to happen, dementia patients must be provided with all the necessary materials that would be required for the pursuance of the activity, and also careful and step by step instructions must be given so that the dementia patient is able to involve himself or herself in the activity, and also thoroughly enjoy himself or herself in the process.

A number of activities may be taken up by the dementia patient. These include painting, music, photography and a number of other activities. Generally all activities that a dementia patient used to enjoy before developing the distressing condition, can be enjoyed by the dementia patient, except perhaps adventure sports and other dangerous and risky activities. One of the most important uses of these activities is that the pursuance of any activity has the advantage of burning calories so that the dementia patient has a good sleep. For all these reasons it is imperative that the caregiver takes up well-chosen activities for the dementia patient.

Last Modified April 9, 2010 @ 10:52 pm