Have a Loved One with Dementia?

Active Living Profiles

How to plan activities with them in mind

Time spent with a loved one who has dementia is often gratifying and important — for both of you. That connection may help the two of you better cope with the disease.

But planning activities with someone who has dementia can be challenging. That is especially true if your loved one becomes frustrated, restless, worried or confused during your times together.

These tips may help you plan a fun and less stressful occasion:

Choose the right time of day. Many people with dementia have more confusion later in the day. Mornings may be better for your loved one.

Go with the familiar. Try to pick activities or places to visit that your loved one previously enjoyed. Maybe that’s dining out, shopping, taking walks or visiting a garden. Remember that new places may be overwhelming.

Keep it simple and quiet. Crowded and noisy places can be upsetting for some people with dementia. Keep this in mind when deciding which restaurants, stores or other public places

to visit.

Let your loved one do it their way. It’s OK if your loved one just wants to watch an activity instead of participating in one.

Don’t overdo a good time. Try not to plan too many things for one day. One fun activity may be enough. Include time to rest. Take your loved one home as soon as they seem tired.

Try a tune. Learn how music can help people with dementia stay connected with the world.

Sources: Alzheimer’s Association; National Institute on Aging