Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects one’s memory, personality, and reasoning. It gets such a bad reputation because of all the movies that you see about people with dementia. Although it is not an easy journey, people with dementia can still enjoy life and have fun as they prevent their health from deteriorating further. The truth is that crafting and doing household chores are great alternatives to traditional medication (though that doesn’t mean you should stop taking your medicines).
Keep Safety in Mind
But before you go about doing DIY stuff, remember to choose activities considered safe for someone with dementia. Talk this over with your health care provider and make sure that your decisions are thoroughly guided by someone who understands the condition. Also, if you are not staying in an assisted-living facility or senior care home, you might want to consider moving into one. If that is not an option, then at least make sure there’s an urgent care facility near where you live, so you can get proper care when needed.
Make a Scrapbook
This is the most personal activity you can do. People with dementia will eventually forget places, things, and people. Going down memory lane through photos will remind you of all the things you love—family, friends, traveling, hobbies, and interests. You need some craft materials to get going. If you don’t like to look at your photos, you can just cut things of interest from a magazine and make a collage of them on a sketchpad or notebook.
Handmade Greeting Cards
Older adults still want to write beautiful letters and note cards. You can either get a greeting card from a local bookstore and write beautiful letters, or you can make one on your own. Make sure you have plenty of cardboard paper, markers, stickers, and other designs. If you are unable to make one yourself, ask someone to print a template from the computer. You can then color inside the lines before signing it and sending the card to someone you care about.
This is another great activity if you have dementia. Ask someone to print a large photo of your loved one and then cut them into puzzle pieces. What you need to do is put them back together to create the photo again. It’s better if you can print the picture on cardboard, so the pieces will be sturdier when you put them back together. You can do this for other things that are familiar to you as well. Aside from photos of your loved ones, you can make a puzzle out of familiar places to you such as your house, vacation home, and childhood home.
Arrange Paper Flowers
Do you know origami? If you don’t know origami, now might be the best time to learn it. You can make flowers out of Japanese paper. Just make sure you have a plastic vase where you can put them. This activity is time-consuming because it might take a while before you complete a whole arrangement. Once you have more knowledge, you can do plenty of other things with Japanese paper.
What kind of work did you do before? Former postmen, for example, can stamp envelopes and letters. Former carpenters can sand a piece of wood. What about you? What are the things that you usually do in your line of work? You can find an activity based on what you did before so that it will be a form of memory game. You will remember snippets of life before you had dementia. This will be helpful for your memory.
Paint by Numbers
You probably heard about paint by numbers. It’s a fun activity for kids and adults alike. All you have to do is follow the numbers with corresponding colors in a template. You can use oil-based or acrylic paints. The good thing is there are many paint-by-number kits available in the local craft store. You just need to do choose the image that speaks to you.
Living and dealing with dementia is a tough thing to do. There are good days and terrible days when you don’t feel like getting up from bed anymore. But this is the reason you need to do these activities. Not only are they great memory-enhancer activities, but they’re also going to take your mind off your worries. Even if it’s just for a while, it will do you so much good to think about other things aside from your condition.