June 6, 2024 by Dean Bellefeuille

A woman uses headphones to enjoy music with an older woman, one of many creative dementia care tips you can try.

There is no other experience like trying to care for someone with dementia. It requires you to dig deep down into your reserves of flexibility, patience, and perhaps most importantly, creativity. You have to be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice from one strategy to another to promote a fulfilling and enriching life for the person you love, all while managing the more challenging aspects of the condition.

We have a trained dementia care team to help with some innovative dementia care tips you can easily implement to make each day the best it can be for someone with dementia.

  • Calming scents: Aromatherapy can work wonders in providing a calming effect to reduce anxiety and agitation. Try scents like lavender, peppermint, or vanilla.
  • Reminiscence boxes: Make boxes filled with the memories the older adult holds dear from their past to facilitate reminiscing.
  • The magic of music: Music is an extremely useful tool you’ll want to use time and time again. This can involve creating a playlist of the person’s favorite songs to sing and dance to together, playing instruments, attending concerts (in person or online), etc.
  • Biophilic design: Incorporate elements of nature, such as plants or nature-inspired artwork, into the living environment to create a calming and familiar atmosphere.
  • Red tableware: Researchers have found that using red cups and plates can increase food intake in individuals with dementia by enhancing contrast and visibility of food.
  • Virtual reality: VR experiences tailored to the individual’s interests and abilities can provide immersive and therapeutic experiences, triggering memories and improving mood.
  • Light therapy: Getting natural light or using light therapy devices can help regulate sleep patterns and improve mood in individuals with dementia.
  • Montessori methods: Adapt Montessori principles to create meaningful and engaging activities that stimulate cognitive function and promote independence.
  • Sensory stimulation: Engage the senses with tactile activities like gardening or fabric folding, which can soothe and ground individuals with dementia.
  • Tailored storytelling: Customize familiar stories to include specifics from the individual’s past. For example, if the person loved fishing at a particular lake, weave the name of the lake into a story you’re telling to spark memories and conversations.
  • The hand-under-hand technique: When you’re helping the older adult, guide the person gently by putting your hand under theirs, promoting a sense of control and dignity.
  • Adaptive games: Make small adaptations to games like puzzles, memory matching, and bingo to accommodate cognitive changes. For instance, use larger, easy-to-handle pieces for puzzles or brightly colored cards for bingo to enhance visibility and ease of use.
  • Customized exercise routines: Incorporate gentle, guided exercises that match the person’s current physical abilities and help maintain mobility. Check with the person’s doctor for recommendations.

Partner with our dementia care specialists for additional socialization opportunities, creative activities specific to the person’s interests, and the chance for you to step away for some much-needed time to yourself. Serving Syracuse, Camillus, Clay, Fayetteville, Salina, and the surrounding areas, you can reach us any time online or at (315) 579-HOME (4663).