Keeping Your Loved One Engaged When They Have Dementia

Author

Visiting Angels - York

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Visiting Angels

Posted on

May 12, 2020

Book/Edition

Pennsylvania - South Central PA

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Youve had a long day at work and youre tired. But, you need to go home and care for your loved one who has Dementia. Take a deep breath and know there are many ways to have a conversation or keep them engaged:

Use familiar words and phrases when speaking or asking questions
Use humor if appropriate but remember to only laugh with them and not at them
Use objects or props especially items that are familiar to your loved one
Look interested and mirror their expressions
Dont argue just listen and go along with them
You may have to repeat yourself dont get angry or aggravated because its not their fault they cant remember they just asked you the same question a few times. BE PATIENT!
Pick some activities to do on a daily basis things you know they used to do or have always loved doing

Cook or bake together.
Do arts and crafts create something together (youll always treasure it).
Read books that they used to love.
Play music or sing together music is a great form of therapy and very calming.
Watch old family movies.
Work in the garden or flower beds if they are able.
Do puzzles.
Take a walk as long as its safe.
If they still have some cognitive skills, help them do some of the things they love like writing, photography, crocheting or any other familiar hobby.


Dont worry if they resist or dont want to do an activity. Take a break to help them relax. You may see your loved one getting frustrated. In order to avoid it escalating, step away or have someone else step in to help calm the situation.
Always concentrate on the activity and not the outcome. Be positive theyll remember the time with you and not the activity.

Your loved one deserves to enjoy each day like they did for years. You deserve to enjoy time with your loved one and interact with them as much as possible. Dont forget to take care of yourself too and dont get overwhelmed with stress while youre being a caregiver. There are many resources out there including support groups to help you through difficult times.
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Editors Note: This article was contributed by Sandy Sferrella-Taylor, Public Relations Manager at Visiting Angels of Lancaster, Hanover and York.

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