Whether they are of Irish descent or not countless people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Even if your senior loved one has been diagnosed with dementia he or she can participate in some modified activities that can benefit his or her mind and help alleviate boredom, stress, and isolation.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Sonoma County families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Here are some simple yet fun activities seniors with dementia can do on St. Patrick’s Day
1. Irish Dance Off and Sing-a-Long
To celebrate the holiday, you and your loved one can search for famous Celtic instruments, dance moves, and songs online. Turn the house into an Irish dance off and sing-a-long where everyone dances to their favorite music and instruments and sings popular Irish songs. Do not ask your loved one if he or she remembers a dance move or song. Just start singing and dancing, letting him or her jump in at any time. Musical expression is a great way for your loved one to remember past events and people.
2. Fill in the Blank
Use Irish proverbs when playing this game. Your loved one will need to use learned memories or motor memory for this activity. Read the sentences aloud or let your loved one read them off a card. Leave out the last word and ask him or her to fill in the blank. You can find a complete list of Irish Proverbs online. Most of the templates are available to download. Remember to take your time and allow your loved one to go at his or her own pace. This is a great way for your loved one to feel more engaged with life and less irritable.
If you need help taking care of your loved one, consider hiring a professional caregiver. A Sonoma County, CA, caregiver is the perfect option if your elderly loved one wishes to age in place with greater independence. Cooking, bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping are just a few of the important everyday tasks a caregiver can help with.
3. St. Patrick’s Day Art
Art encourages self-expression in seniors with dementia. Painting can help boost your loved one’s cognitive function in certain areas of the brain. Get your loved one to paint simple objects related to St. Patrick’s Day, such as a shamrock, a pot of gold, or a rainbow. Do not choose objects that are difficult to paint or create. Difficult tasks may upset your loved one and cause him or her to become irritated and anxious. The idea is to use art as therapy to help your loved one connect to his or her memories.
4. Penny Pickup
Find a container that looks like a pot of gold. Use pennies to represent the gold your loved one needs to collect. Place the container on the floor so your loved one has to bend over to toss the pennies inside. Scatter the pennies around the room, but near the container. The game should be slightly challenging, but not too difficult because you don’t want to frustrate your loved one. Play Celtic music in the background while playing this game. You and your loved one should take turns grabbing as many pennies (“gold”) before the timer goes off. Whoever has the most change after at least five turns is the winner. Give out shamrock shakes, cookies, and other treats that honor St. Patrick’s Day as prizes. This game can help develop your loved one’s fine and gross motor skills.
Many families have no experience in specialized home care for seniors, which can make life a bit more challenging when an elderly loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The Sonoma County, CA, dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. We designed a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses mentally engaging activities to slow the progression of dementia, and all of our live-in and respite caregivers are expertly trained in dementia care. For more information on our elder care services, please call (707) 843.4368 today to request a complimentary consultation.