The prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders like dementia in seniors are estimated to be 2.7% in the senior population in India. As this disorder increases with age, there is a clear chance of nearly 20% of elders who are above 80 to get diagnosed with dementia. The current age representation in seniors is 66.3% according to the National Health Portal of India. This is 10 years less than the developed countries, which means there is significant scope for improvement.
Why caregiving for dementia is challenging?
If you are a caregiver, you don’t need an introduction for the qualities like patience, sticking to a scheduled daily routine, and being flexible. As the condition progresses, the approach of caregiving needs to be updated as per the new demands. And, the caregiver is expected to provide constant and consistent care for a long time.
The senior’s memory lapses, confusion, increased dependency, and sometimes anger issues and extreme mood swings make it even more challenging for the family member who is also involved in various life-related commitments.
The difficulties in caregiving for a dementia patient can be dealt effectively by helping your elder practice self-reliance and independence. If you are an active caregiver and looking for ways to strengthen your elders’ abilities to cope with their own tasks, this blog is for you. Stay with us until the end as we explore more about the art projects for seniors with dementia.
What are the activities seniors with dementia should be involved in?
There are plenty! If you have been a caregiver for a while, you know the benefits of art therapy for dementia. And, there is music therapy, spiritual wellness, and a plethora of activities that focus on a senior’s overall wellbeing.
Best arts and crafts activities for seniors with dementia –
- Painting – Probably the best activity to stay on course with enhancing the hand-eye-brain coordination, cognitive improvement, and reducing stress. Number-based pre-drawn painting kits are the best way to get started with this activity.
- This way, the senior could not only get the subtle hints and instructions from the painting itself but also will be able to complete on their own. Completion of a painting can be considered as an achievement and also helps them to pain more.
- Music and doodles – Music has the innate ability to relieve stress and relax the heart and mind. Play some mild and relaxing music. If your elder has a favourite music list, even better! Play the music and give your elders plenty of colour pencils. Now, ask them to just draw their heart out. Your senior might actually surprise you with the outcome of this activity.
- Picture puzzles of close family members – Puzzles for dementia is a great memory booster. Forgetting the faces of close family members can be extremely demotivating for the elders with dementia. You can encourage them by giving easy and simple family picture puzzles.
- Take portraits of your close family members and create easy-to-solve puzzles with them. Organizing the pieces together helps your seniors with their memory and coordination skills.
- Handmade greetings – Handmade greeting cards have a language that the heart can read and remember for a long time! Encourage your elders to show their love to their sons, daughters, and grandchildren in particular by giving them all they need to create personalized handmade greeting cards. Even simple letters and sketches will deliver powerful and heart-felt messages.
- Clay art – If you are not concerned about your seniors getting messier (just like children) with clay modelling, buy them oil-based or polymer-based clay modeling tools to explore the depths of their creativity. Clay modeling is a great source to keep your elders occupied for hours, and be productive.
What are the benefits of arts and crafts therapy?
There is solid evidence that visual arts, crafts, creative hobbies, and digital games delay the symptoms of dementia in seniors. The results also suggest they even prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
- Improved memory – With arts and crafts therapy, seniors can regain control over memory and function with better coordination in their day-to-day tasks.
- Good mood – Mood swings are reduced significantly and your seniors will enjoy a better mood.
- Enhanced brain activity – Brain activities like cognition, memory, and functioning improves at a new level with this kind of therapy.
There is another most important benefit out of these activities – bonding between the caregiver and the receiver. The session is primarily to delay the symptoms of your loved one. However, all these activities provide a greater opportunity for you to improve the bonding, trust, and understanding between you and your loved one.
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