A journey in the later stages of dementia comes with various challenges because of fading memories. The progressive cognitive decline brings forth new challenges every day; although you cannot stop this progression, you can do some activities to reduce it.
These later-stage dementia activities offer comfort, stimulation, and relaxation to evoke emotions and keep cognitive abilities engaged.
In this blog, we are going to explore the list of various activities that you can do with a person diagnosed with late-stage dementia. We will categorize the activities to promote sensory stimulation, physical movements, cognitive engagement, and emotional balance. Doing these activities helps stimulate various senses that struggle to work effectively during the later phase of dementia.
Here, we will also learn how the specific activities stimulate cognitive abilities and help the person relax. In the remaining days, the focus is on comfort and fostering emotional connection rather than treating the condition.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 6 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia. When the brain shrinks, it loses several functions, ultimately affecting the activities of daily living.
Simple day-to-day tasks like walking, writing, and speaking are challenging because coordination and movements don’t go along. Similarly, the sense of smell is the first to be impacted by dementia. The person may be unable to distinguish whether the food is spoiled or burned. The person with dementia cannot differentiate between hot and cold temperatures, making them prone to various accidents.
Importance of Activities in the Later Stages of Dementia
Our 35th US President, John F. Kennedy once said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
The same rule applies to people with later stages of dementia. By engaging in various physical and emotional activities, they can communicate and be expressive, stimulating their remaining cognitive abilities. Performing activities that are not yet challenging helps loved ones reduce anxiety and manage their behavior when they feel restless or distressed. So, it evokes emotions that stimulate their cognitive functions.
Various studies have shown that indulging in several activities can reduce agitation because it stimulates certain brain regions. In early-stage dementia, you carry out certain activities to reduce progress. However, in the later stages of dementia, you need to be more mindful and focus on improving the quality of your life.
So, even with no cure for dementia, some tasks can certainly reduce the progress rate.
Let’s check out the number of activities that you can do with your loved ones diagnosed with late-stage dementia.
Engaging Activities in the Later Stages of Dementia
To Boost Sensory Stimulation
Baking or cooking food with your loved ones gives it a sense of smell. Especially if your loved one is fond of cake, you can bake it with them. This gives them a little joy and helps stabilize sensory stimulation.
If your loved one enjoys gardening, the smell of fresh flowers and fruits can evoke a sense of positive emotion in them. This helps them to calm down and relax while spending some quality time with the home care providers or family members.
Gentle hand or foot massage or exploring tactile books with soft textures or fabric stimulates the senses. These activities promote a sense of comfort and relaxation to reduce aggression and anxiety.
For Improving Balance With Physical Movements
In the later stage of dementia, the body doesn’t function well, and as a result, you will see a lack of coordination in the physical movements. Such uncoordinated movements can result in reduced joint flexibility. To reduce the impact, you can start with gentle stretching exercises, like walking or stretching your hands.
Similarly, seated or chair yoga can also improve balance and coordination. You can do some ball exercises like squeezing softballs or rhythmic chair rocking, which also works.
Holding the hands of your loved ones promotes a sense of comfort and connection.
Fostering Emotional Engagement
Bring out the old photo album or create a memory collage with your loved ones to foster emotional connection and memories.
You can also play some simple games, like board games or puzzles, that help boost their sense of accomplishment and social interaction.
Listening to your loved one’s favorite songs or tunes with them can also promote emotional expression, bringing down anxiety and aggression.
Improving Cognitive Functions
Get a book with many colorful objects where you can point out each one and name it. Helping the loved one match the shapes and pictures improves cognitive and visual skills.
Does your loved one have a favorite audiobook? Play the audiobook with a soft voice to improve your mood and promote comfort and anxiety.
Simple activities like folding laundry, drawing, or simplifying a story with a predictive pattern can provide a sense of accomplishment and improve cognition with repetitive motor skills.
Dementia is a progressive cognitive decline, and there is no medication to cure it. All you can do is engage in meaningful activities with your loved ones and help them feel calm and relaxed. Since the dementia journey is not similar for everyone, you need to understand that the needs and preferences will also be unique for your family members.
Remember that these activities are not for curing the condition but rather for improving the quality of life. So, by engaging in various activities, you can provide comfort and stimulate their cognitive functions at home.
Understanding dementia is essential to reducing the negative impact and providing hospice care to loved ones in the remaining days. So, if you need help or have difficulty managing your loved ones in the later stages of dementia, get in touch with Comfikare Homecare.
Our caregivers are highly skilled and have years of training to help out loved ones diagnosed with dementia and memory care. We create a personalized care plan depending on their progressive conditions with 24/7 homecare supervision.
Book your caregiver now!