4 Dementia-Friendly Winter Activities
Winter is the part of the year where people spend most of the time indoors. It is too cold to go on long walks, and we look for ways to entertain ourselves during these short days and long nights.
Luckily, winter season means a lot of holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, etc. These holidays are synonyms for giving presents, baking cookies, making delicious dishes, and singing songs. You, your older adult, and the entire family can participate in these activities.
However, the problem is what to do in between?
We’ve already discussed some winter activities for seniors. However, this time we will pay more attention to dementia-friendly activities.
- Cook with your loved one
- Stay in touch with friends and family
Cook with Your Loved One
Cooking can be fun! Make delicious meals together, and spend some quality time with your family.
Ask them about their favorite recipes. Let them show you the way they used to prepare a certain meal in their youth.
Not only will they have fun, but it is a great cognitive exercise, too. Reading recipes, remembering what goes first, measuring the ingredients, and cooking requires the brain to be engaged all the time.
Being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean an older adult can’t participate. Let them read the recipe or stir the ingredients. You can find a task for everyone.
Knitting is not as popular as it used to be. However, it is a creative hobby an older adult can enjoy.
Teaching your senior how to knit has numerous benefits. Even if you don’t know how to do it, learning it together will bring you closer to your loved one.
They can create gloves, hats, or sweaters for their grandchildren and have a new sense of purpose. Donating the creations to the Red Cross or other humanitarian organizations is also an option.
Seems complicated to you? Watch this tutorial on YouTube to learn the basics.
Performing exercises may not be on the top of the list of favorite activities. Nevertheless it is essential for seniors to be active. They usually don’t go out of the house often in winter, especially if they suffer from dementia.
Suggest your loved one exercise regularly. Even the simplest exercises can help. Try yoga, tai chi, or even seated exercises. Any type of activity will have numerous health benefits for your older adult. This especially refers to reduced blood pressure, decreased back pain, and improved mood.
Regular fitness is important for maintaining balance. Exercising strengthens bones and muscles so seniors will reduce the risk of falling.
Stay in Touch with Friends and Family
Winter is the time of year when we see our family and friends less than usual. It is too cold to go outside often, so we prefer to stay indoors.
This means we have less contact with the people we care about. Loneliness in the elderly is particularly pronounced during this season.
Although it is winter, it doesn’t need to be that way.
Luckily technology has progressed so we can now talk to and see our loved ones even if they are on the other side of the planet.
Organize a video chat for your loved one with people they care about. Although a face-to-face meeting would be much better, even a video call can decrease the sense of isolation.
Winter is coming, so prepare yourself and your older adult ahead of time. Think about how to prevent them from falling and how to engage them in different activities. Winter may be boring and depressing, but there are ways to beat it.
Images Source: http://unsplash.com