Connecting with others is at the core of being human – and it’s something that doesn’t change when a person has dementia. We’re often asked what are good activities for dementia patients. It’s important to know that there are many ways you can continue to form connections and strengthen bonds with your loved one during this time.
12 WAYS TO MAKE A CONNECTION
People with dementia often return to long-term memories of childhood. Their minds seem to only recall their younger years, and this is often where connections can be made. The next time you visit with your loved one, try one or more of the following activities to create a connection with them:
- Create a Memory Bag
Fill the bag with items reminiscent of their late teens/early twenties. Scented products work well for this, as scents are strongly tied to memory. Try including soap, perfumes and aftershave, or holiday scents like gingerbread, pine and peppermint.
- Look Through Photo Albums
Photo albums with pictures from their childhood or young adulthood are best for this. Old periodicals are another good option, particularly those that include many photos such as Life or Time magazines.
- Read Out Loud
If your loved one has a favorite book, read it out loud to them and let them hold the book and feel the pages. Encourage them to enjoy the distinctive “old book smell.” Reading aloud works especially well with poetry, as the cadence of the words are familiar and calming.
- Listen to a Playlist of Favorite Music
Download songs or set up radio to stream that features music from their teenage years. Many internet radio stations include everything from classic rock to big band sounds, their favorite music should be easy to find.
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