Caring for an elderly person with dementia can be an unsettling process, especially if you have not yet reached out for assistance. Being aware of any changes in behavior is important, and you should maintain an open dialogue with the health care professionals who are handling the patient’s case. It’s always critical to remain patient and to offer reassurance to the senior in your life who is suffering from this common disorder. A senior who has developed memory loss and other symptoms of the condition may experience anxiety and fear; but by being there to comfort the individual, you can do much to help diminish such feelings.
One of the best things you can do to assist a person in this state is to encourage him or her to be active. Staying physically and mentally active will help an elder to handle living with impaired cognitive capacity. By exploring potential activities for seniors with dementia in the San Fernando Valley, you can provide some useful support to an elder in need.
Cleaning the Cobwebs
Before you research an array of activities that a senior may enjoy, consider the fact that cleaning can be a very therapeutic activity. A person who has dementia may feel depressed and subsequently lack the motivation to do everyday chores, such as cleaning. However, living in a clean home can be uplifting. The state that an individual’s home is in actually serves as a reflection of that person’s sense of well-being. Therefore, if an elderly individual is surrounded by clutter and grime, that person is apt to feel anxious and more depressed than ever.
Instead of hiring a professional to do all of the housecleaning for the senior in your life, you might encourage the elderly person to do some of the cleaning in the home. Activities such as washing the dishes, dusting, and sweeping the floor all have a therapeutic effect on the mind. By helping a senior to clean the home and keep it that way, you will likely contribute to the mental and physical wellness of the person.
Planting Some Seeds
Another highly therapeutic activity is gardening. Planting seeds, weeding, and watering plants may all aid in restoring a sense of calm to an individual who has dementia. The level of activity may vary according to the person. One senior might only wish to maintain a few plants around the home, and another may want to develop a garden plot in the backyard.
When it’s possible for the person to garden outdoors, the added benefit of getting some sunshine will make the activity even healthier. Vitamin D has now been linked to preventing an assortment of health issues, including cognitive impairment. If the senior you know does not have the space for a garden at home, joining a community garden could be an ideal plan. The Sepulveda Garden Center, in Encino, may be a perfect place to do some gardening in the San Fernando Valley.
Bringing a Pet Home
If the senior in your life has been struggling with the symptoms of dementia, a pet could be a welcome addition to the home. The use of therapy animals has become a more common occurrence when treating dementia. An animal may provide an elderly individual with a kind of unconditional love that is invaluable.
Even the act of playing with a pet that has not been trained as a therapy animal could serve as a form of therapy. Try to be realistic and match the person with a suitable type of animal. A frail elder may not be comfortable with a large dog in the home, so a small breed is probably a better choice. Plenty of animal shelters in the San Fernando Valley are filled with creatures who would be delighted to live in a loving home. If the senior you know is not capable of caring for a pet, you might simply bring him or her to a local park to feed the ducks. No matter how brief, such an experience may aid in lifting the spirits.
The greatest gift you can offer a senior with dementia is to help that person manage the task of daily living. By encouraging the individual to remain active, you will contribute to his or her well-being. Don’t hesitate to assist an elder in finding activities for seniors in the San Fernando Valley.
Photo by JefferyTurner