By definition, Dementia is “a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.” Here are some sensory activities to keep the brain active.
- Walk in the Park/Forest
If you live near a wooded area, go with either family or a caregiver on a walk through a park or a forest. If you are with somebody who has late-stage Alzheimer’s, use a tablet or a computer to look up different forest or nature scenes. This will stimulate sight, hearing and touch.
- Food (Touching/Cutting)
Bring in soft foods and show what they are and let the person taste the food and potentially cut the food with a dull object. This will stimulate touch, sight, and taste.
- Rummage Drawer
Get an old chest of drawers, fill them with various items and let the person sort the items into different drawers. Some themes of drawers can be toys, fabric, clothes, and utensils. This can benefit sight and touch.
- Sensory Garden
This one may take the most time if you actually grow the flowers, but with this one, gather different herbs and flowers of different colors and smells to stimulate sight, smell, and if you have edible plants, taste.
This one could be a little on the pricier side if you actually use a diffuser. Use different kinds of essential oils or different food smells to trigger different feelings and stimulate smell and potentially touch.
- Guess the Smell
Put various foods into different bags and have the person guess different smells.
- Calming colors
Use calming colors such as blues, greens and pinks to calm. These can be on anything from walls to accessories to art.
- Colorful Mobiles
If you are working with somebody who is bound to their bed, create a colorful mobile from either paper or toys to hang above the bed.
The ideal frequency in hertz to stimulate brain activity is 40. You can use calming sounds such as a white noise machine or soft piano music.
- Liked Foods
Cook some older recipes or foods that the person may like to keep the sense of taste up, as well as recognizing what different foods are.
- Touch fabric/toys
Have the person touch various items and say what they are.
- Play Dough filled balloons
Fill some balloons with play dough to make a good squeezable item to keep hands busy.
Create a cylinder of either fabric or yarn to fit the person’s arms and have various things to touch on the inside and the outside such as ribbons, buttons, pom-poms, and seashells.