Finding activities for older adults with Dementia can seem like a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Activities that promote mental stimulation, nostalgia of their past, or that activate their prior knowledge (work/career from their past, daily housekeeping tasks, etc) can have optimal benefits for your loved one.
One of the easiest and best activities for Dementia Care is sorting. Sorting activities promote fine- motor skills (small movements in hands, fingers, etc.), decrease anxiety due to familiarity of objects and ease of use, and allows loved ones an opportunity to talk, reminisce about their past, and bond.
Creating Activity Kits is cost-effective and saves time when arranging and organizing your loved one’s daily activities. Kits can be kept nearby or within easy reach and even repeated on a weekly or monthly basis. Kits can include objects to be sorted, flash cards for instructions, and even a divided tray to assist with all sorting activities.
Gather buttons of various sizes and colours and place in a container for use. Using buttons is cost-effective as many of us have them at home or can easily find them at dollar/craft stores or even garage sales. For many, buttons, are a familiar object that can promote nostalgia for your loved one.
Another idea can be to place colourful yarn, fabric, or spool threads in a container for sorting. Older adults may sort them by colour and even create a visual display by lining the coloured objects in rows. This promotes cognitive skills like categorizing, logic, and problem solving. The material may also strike up conversation of past uses and can even lead to further activities such as knitting, etc.
Sorting Money or Hardware
For some of our older adults, sorting familiar objects, such as money or hardware (screws, nuts, bolts, etc.), can promote discussion on previous career or hobbies!
There are endless possibilities on what objects can be used for sorting tasks! Here are a few more to inspire you:
– box of seashells
– container of silverware
– basket of colourful or different sized socks or items of clothing
– Christmas ornaments
– package of colourful straws, popsicle sticks, or toothpicks
– Objects found in nature, such as leaves or pine cones
Creating these kits with familiar objects that can be kept the same, added to, or changed over a period of time, ensures loved ones are kept challenged and reduces boredom. They are a great way to enhance your loved ones daily activities and promote well-being.