For people with mild to moderate dementia, intentional regular cognitive stimulation is proven to slow the rate of cognitive decline. According to “Cognitive Stimulation to Improve Cognitive Functioning in People with Dementia” a study in the Cochrane Systematic Review published in 2012, those who participated in two 45 minute sessions a week showed improved communication and perception of their quality of life after 3 months. If you are caring for a loved one in the early stages of dementia, consider incorporating these activities into their routines.
When planning activities, make sure to think of what your loved one did before their diagnosis and try to integrate those hobbies and interests. If your father loves to cook, get him in the kitchen and help him follow a simple recipe. If your mom has a large record collection, play a few songs from that collection and ask her if she remembers when she first heard the song. If they become frustrated with the exercise, redirect their attention and think of how to adjust the activity for the next try.
Other examples of activities that encourage cognitive stimulation include:
The Alzheimer’s Association and Pinterest have great ideas and tips on how to introduce these activities.
Here are some links to articles and activities that may help you with ideas.
It takes a little muscle and it takes a little grit,