Things to remember when choosing activities for seniors with cognitive issues

by Paradise Living Center

activities for seniors with cognitive issuesSeniors that develop cognitive issues, often experience an inability to do the activities they were good at or once loved. It is extremely frustrating and a reality that can be discouraging for all involved, including family members and friends. To avoid this frustration, it is important to recognize the situation when choosing activities for seniors with cognitive issues.

Muscles tend to remember things that the mind has forgotten. Because of this, it is better to appeal to the senses when choosing activities for seniors with cognitive issues. Your loved one may be losing their memory, but they still have the gift of taste, vision, smell, touch, and hearing. When planning activities for seniors with cognitive issues, consider incorporating activities that appeal to one or more of their senses. Studies show that when you use this approach, seniors will be more engaged and enjoy an activity more.

If you are looking for activities, here are some ideas you can pick and choose from:

  • Baking: Seniors may not remember how to make their special chocolate chip cookies, but when presented with a lump of dough, you may be surprised at how quickly they roll it out.
  • Connecting through music: Engage their sense of hearing by singing, playing, or listening to music.
  • Doing an arts and crafts project: Sometimes seeing or creating something beautiful can transform a tough day into a beautiful one.
  • Gardening: Everyone loves the smell of fresh flowers. Gardening engages the sense of smell, touch, and vision.
  • Get active: Research has shown that physical activity is beneficial to those battling cognitive decline. Physical activity is also a great activity to battle depression which is common in seniors.

Whatever activity you select to do, it is important to concentrate on the process rather than the result. It does not matter if the picture they painted is beautiful. What matters is that your loved one enjoys the time you are spending together painting and that they feel useful while doing an activity. These hobbies or endeavors will provide you and your loved one with something productive to do when you visit and give you something fun to talk about.

At Paradise Living Centers, our Activities Director and our Care Manager plan regular weekly activities for our residents. These activities include games, arts and crafts, physical stretching and exercise, and social events with families and quarterly outings. To learn more about the care and services we offer or to schedule a tour, please visit our website or call us at (480) 878- 4112.