Older adults with dementia can easily become bored because they aren’t able to do the things they once did, like engage in a conversation or read a magazine. In addition, they may also be confused by unfamiliar surroundings, making them anxious or agitated. That can make sitting in a waiting room or traveling difficult. One way to make these kinds of things less challenging is to bring an activity bag along for the senior.
What Kinds of Things Go in an Activity Bag?
The items you put in your older family member’s activity bag should be things that appeal to them. For that reason, what is in their bag might be very different from the things in another senior’s bag. They might also change depending on where you are taking the older adult and how long you expect them to have to sit quietly.
In general, look for activities that don’t have a wrong way to do them. This will prevent frustration, which could make agitation worse. Comfort items are also a good idea, such as a stuffed animal they like the feel of or a photo album filled with pictures of familiar people and places.
Snacks are also a good idea since they can sometimes work to keep seniors busy when nothing else does. Choose easy to eat foods that don’t require utensils. Also, look for things that aren’t messy, so they won’t get all over the senior’s face or hands and don’t leave crumbs or stains in the waiting room or car.
Activity Bag Ideas
If you’re at a loss for what to put in your aging relative’s activity bag, here are some specific ideas:
• Foam shapes with holes for lacing. This activity is like sewing, so it may appeal to people who enjoyed sewing before developing dementia.
• Craft sticks with Velcro. Paint large craft sticks with bright colors. Then, attach stick on Velcro dots to the ends of them. The senior can stick them together to create different shapes.
• Fidget toys. The fidget toys used to soothe children with autism may also appeal to an older adult with dementia.
• Puzzles. Choose jigsaw puzzles with pictures of things the older adult likes and that are appropriate to their current abilities.
A senior care provider can assist with putting together an activity bag. Senior care providers can help family members to identify items the older adult particularly enjoys. A senior care provider can also prepare a snack to put in the bag, so a busy family caregiver doesn’t have to take the time to do it. If the person has an especially hard time leaving the house, it may also be helpful for a senior care provider to go along with the older adult and their family caregiver to keep the older adult busy while the family caregiver receives instructions and information from the doctor.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Cornelius, NC, please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at(704) 379-7510.Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail.