Two women complete a puzzle because they know that activities boost self-esteem in people with dementia.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? Many of us have a long to-do list that motivates us to get the day started. As much as we might wish we could keep hitting the snooze button, having a feeling of purpose is imperative to our wellbeing. That is true for a person with dementia as well.

When caring for someone with dementia, it’s natural to want to do whatever you can for the individual. Although the motives behind this way of thinking are to make life better and easier, it might have the reverse effect. It is vital to help the person to continue doing tasks and engage in purposeful activities, even if this means a bit of additional time and patience on your part.

What Are Some Good Activities to Boost Self-Esteem for A Loved One With Dementia?

There is an endless list of activities that boost self-esteem for people with dementia. It starts with activities of everyday living, the things we barely give a second thought to: preparing and eating meals, taking a bath, and getting dressed. But imagine having these daily tasks taken over by somebody else. What would it do to your self-esteem?

With some modifications and support, a person during the early and middle stages of dementia can still accomplish these activities. For example, if:

  • Buttons and zippers are cumbersome, select clothing that can be pulled on and off more easily.
  • Removing the toothpaste cap and squeezing the right amount onto the toothbrush is challenging, take care of that step for the person, leaving the toothbrush on the edge of the sink so that they can brush independently.
  • Preparing a from-scratch meal from start to finish is not possible any longer, consider which steps the person can still complete: washing and tearing lettuce for salad, setting out napkins and silverware, stirring butter into a bowl of mashed potatoes, etc.

Additionally, you’ll want to be sure there are lots of fun and engaging activities for the person to experience throughout the day as well. Base these activities on their current and/or past hobbies and interests. Consider:

  • Sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, sinkers and bobbers in a tackle box, or papers in folders
  • Ability-appropriate puzzles and games
  • Music: creating a playlist of favorite songs and having a singalong, dancing together, or just clapping hands and tapping toes to the beat
  • Taking a regular walk around the block or in the yard, taking pleasure in nature and chatting with neighbors
  • Gardening: indoor dish gardens or planting seeds in small pots can take the place of outdoor gardening if necessary

The home care experts at Home With You Senior Care are trained in creative techniques that make each day the very best it can be. Contact us online or give us a call at 410-756-0959 to learn more about how our dementia care services in Stevenson, Westminster, Pikesville, and the nearby communities can improve life for someone you love.