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4 Important Types of Activities for People With Dementia: Video Q&A With Teepa Snow

Kara Lewis
By Kara LewisOctober 1, 2020
Elderly woman holding her dog while outdoors.

For seniors living with dementia, it can be difficult to find meaning and variation in daily routines. Balancing four types of activities each day can help solve this common problem, says Teepa Snow, a dementia educator with 40 years of experience.

By appealing to an aging adult’s interests and pastimes, along with promoting other elements of a healthy lifestyle, Snow says caregivers can give a senior’s day “characteristics” and significance. Read highlights here or watch the full, 6-minute video

Type 1: Activities that make seniors feel relevant and needed

Teepa Snow: This is absolutely critical – seniors have to do things every day that give them a sense of value and purpose.

Type 2: Activities that boost enjoyment

The second thing: Seniors want to have fun. They want to have something that makes them feel good. Without that, they stop thriving.

Type 3: Activities that promote self-care

Self-care includes brain care and body care. Seniors have to take care of their brains and their bodies. They have to take care of the space around them, and the people and relationships around them.

Type 4: Activities that help seniors recuperate

By taking care of things, number four becomes easier: rest and restoration. Seniors rest better when these other three types of activities are part of their lives.

Avoid passivity and dull moments

Seniors don’t rest well when all they do is wait for something to do, because waiting is not a good activity. The more they have to wait for you, the more they feel their life doesn’t have value and purpose.

How can we fill their days? People, plants, or animals.

Animals give a sense of value and purpose. Music, poetry, prayer – anything with rhythm, that’s a blessing. Then, the last thing: props — things to do stuff with. We’re using things from the world around us to meet the senior’s needs. It doesn’t have to be 24/7, but activities change life 24/7. Open in Editor

Kara Lewis
Kara Lewis
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