Spring is normally the time of year when we get excited to be outside enjoying the weather and airing out the home following a cold and dusty winter. If you’re a caregiver to someone with dementia, you may be wondering what you can do to keep him or her active during the transition in weather.
“Activities are incredibly important for individuals with dementia because it helps keep them engaged, fulfilled and interested,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “However, when planning outings this spring for your loved one with dementia, it is even more important to be alert, be aware and choose safe options that will keep them healthy.”
Here are some of our springtime ideas for fun and festivities.
- Do some gardening. Gardening is a wonderful activity for dementia patients because it combines light exercise with dexterity activities and total sensory stimulation. You and your loved one can work at weeding out flower beds, planting seedlings and other light chores. Be sure that the activity isn’t too strenuous. You can purchase some dementia-friendly gardening tools that will allow your senior loved one to participate safely.
- Take a walk. A short walk around the block is a great form of exercise. Be sure your loved one has appropriate footwear to avoid falls. You can take a walk around the neighborhood or head to a nearby park for a change of scenery – whatever’s easiest.
- Become a birdwatcher. Put a bird feeder outside your loved one’s window or on the patio. Grab your tablet (or go old-school with a birdwatching book) and look up the feathered friends who come to visit.
- Sit in the sun. Even just sitting outside for 15 minutes can help with circadian rhythms, improve mood, boost spirits, reduce stress and more. Spend some time outside reading a book or simply enjoying the feel of the sun on your face. Being outside stimulates all the senses with sounds, smells and feels, which can help with cognitive issues.
- Pack a picnic. Get some carry-out (or pick up some sandwiches from the grocery store) and have a picnic in the park – or your backyard!
- Arrange a beautiful bouquet. How does your garden grow? If you have plants sprouting in your yard and garden, clip some of the most beautiful blooms and arrange them in vases around the house. If you’d like to do a more in-depth activity, purchase flowers from the grocery store or market and spend an afternoon creating floral masterpieces with your loved one. When you’re done, you can deliver the bouquets to friends and family memes who might enjoy a little cheer.
- Paint flower pots. Gardening doesn’t have to only be done indoors. Container gardening is very popular, and provides an opportunity to create fun, unique flower pots. Purchase some terracotta pots and acrylic paint and design pretty pots that you can plant herbs, vegetables or flowers in.
- Spring clean your home. While spring cleaning may not immediately signal “fun activity” for you, it’s an excellent opportunity to engage your loved one and give them the chance to feel useful. Choose tasks that are simple enough and within their abilities (dusting, sorting, etc.).
- Cook a new dish. All sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables are in season during spring. Get inspired in the kitchen to create new, seasonally inspired dishes. Cooking is a great activity for individuals with dementia, and you may end up learning some new tips and techniques, too.
- Plant an indoor herb garden. Herbs are easy to grow indoors and add a zing to any springtime dish. Choose hardy plants like basil, thyme, oregano, chives and rosemary, and your kitchen will smell like a fine restaurant all season long.
For more information about dementia-friendly springtime activities, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.
Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care
The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.
Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated, 110,000-square-foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.
Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.
At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.
For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.