Seniors with dementia need physical exercise to be healthy. Here are some dementia friendly activities that are easy and fun.
Exercise and physical activity are fantastic, drug-free ways to enhance well-being and lessen challenging behaviours in older adults with dementia or Alzheimer's. Finding enjoyable and secure activities that fit their skill level is crucial. Exercise improves circulation, strength, flexibility, and sleep. It can also lessen pain and is an efficient way to lower the risk of falling.
It might not always be simple to encourage someone with dementia to be active or exercise, especially if it wasn't a regular part of their previous routine. Avoid using the word "exercise" and instead describe it as a common task in their daily schedule or as a fun extracurricular activity like a "dance party."
Since many older adults with dementia have trouble starting activities independently and remembering sequences, it is beneficial to get moving alongside your elderly loved one.
When you engage in activities or exercise with a partner, you can model the movements, adjust the tempo, and offer support when necessary. It's easier because they can imitate your actions without worrying about remembering what to do.
Dementia Friendly Activities that Can Promote Physical Health
It is one of the best workouts available—and it's free! Strolling around the house, yard, or outside is good for the body and the mind. You could even combine the walk with another activity, like taking the dog for a walk or going shopping.
2. Sit-to-stand exercise
For seniors, standing up from a chair improves their quality of life. It assists with tasks like getting out of bed, a chair, and the toilet. The sit-to-stand exercise is probably the best mobility exercise for seniors. It strengthens the leg, core, and back muscles and is helpful for that specific movement.
3. Keep your balance while standing
It can be used as a stand-alone workout or with regular activities like washing dishes to improve balance and posture.
4. Sitting without support
This exercise develops the back and abdominal muscles needed for good posture.
5. Stretch while lying in bed
Moving around helps stretch tight muscles. You can carry out this either with help or on your own.
6. Stretches or strength exercises
Even frail or difficult-to-move seniors can benefit from regular exercise. Finding exercises they can perform safely is crucial. It explains why chair exercises are practical. Seniors exercise while seated in a solid, non-slip chair.
It is perfect for those who use a wheelchair, have severe joint issues, or are at high risk of falling. Exercising in a chair increases circulation, flexibility, and strength.
Additionally, they work well to lower the risk of falling and can lessen pain. All forms of exercise improve mood and self-esteem.
7. Tai chi
A gentle exercise that enhances balance and lowers the risk of falling is tai chi. It consists of deep breathing and slow, graceful movements. The slow movements are simple to follow.
Seated tai chi is a fantastic exercise option for older people with limited mobility or frailness. It enables senior citizens to benefit from Tai chi's health and wellness without running the risk of falling.
Raking leaves you feeling accomplished and is a great exercise, as is pulling weeds.
9. Household chores
Simple tasks like folding laundry, dusting, or light vacuuming can be excellent forms of exercise.
They can go at their own pace while enjoying this enjoyable activity that doesn't feel like exercise. Play your older adult's preferred dance music at home, then organise a solitary dance party in the living room for the two of you. Alternatively, look for social gatherings with dancing at senior centres.
How Dementia Friendly Activities are Recommended?
It will take testing to determine the level and kind of physical activity ideal for your older adult because everyone's health, personality, and cognitive abilities are unique.
Generally speaking, aim for a quantity that makes them feel good mentally and physically. And remember to build up gradually after a slow start.
No matter how little, movement is always positive. Overextending oneself is harmful and may result in injuries. Some people might prefer a few sessions of 10 minutes each spread out throughout the day.
Some people might choose to complete 30 minutes at a time. Others might need to begin with just 2 minutes and gradually increase.
Benefits of Dementia Friendly Activities
Depending on the individual, exercise can have various advantages. However, being active generally enhances health and well-being in several ways, including:
- Mood enhancement, stress management, and relaxation techniques to lessen aggressive, agitated, or wandering episodes
- Enhancing physical capacity for daily tasks
- Lowering the risk of falling due to increased strength and balance decline in mental capacity
- Lowering the depression
- Strengthening heart health
- Obtaining a sense of direction and accomplishment while
- Remaining active and interested
- Enhancing sleep and minimising the effects of sundown
- Constipation prevention
Safety Tips for Dementia Friendly Activities
Seniors with dementia can benefit from exercise in many ways, but safety should always come first—before, during, and after physical activity.
- To ensure that exercise is safe for their physical and mental conditions before beginning, consult a doctor.
- Checking in with quick conversations will help you keep track of your level of effort. The pace is right if they can talk without getting out of breath. Slow the pace if they breathe too heavily to carry on a conversation.
- Drink a lot of water to keep them hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
- Make sure they wear a medical alert bracelet, personal identification, and a GPS tracker when participating in outdoor activities if they become separated from you.
- Stop immediately and take a break if they feel lightheaded, weak, or in pain. To determine whether future exercise will be safe, ask their doctor.
Dementia friendly activities are lovely, drug-free ways to improve health and reduce challenging behaviours in older adults with dementia or Alzheimer's.
Finding safe, enjoyable activities that match their level of ability is essential. Exercise has many advantages for older adults with dementia, but safety must always come first – before, during, and after physical activity. You can also consider purchasing a fall detection watch for older people, especially when doing outdoor dementia friendly activities.The CPR Guardian, Personal Alarm Watch with Fall Detection is a simple-to-use personal alarm watch with fall detection, GPS tracking, and an emergency SOS button that enables the user to notify family and friends in case of an emergency. Please get in touch with us if you need help.