Enjoyable activities are often incorporated as part oftreatment and care for individuals with dementia.If you’re on the search for fun and stimulating activities for those with Lewy Body Dementia, the ideas we share here may be a valuable addition to their routine. Many of the activities we have outlined below can be enjoyed well into (and beyond) the middle stages of LBD.
For those in the early to mid-stages of LBD, exercise can be an excellent way to engage both mind and body. Although motor skills may be impaired as the disease progresses, walking or other gentle exercises are generally recommended for individuals in the early stages. A few minutes of walking will help keep the muscles toned, and may also aid in healthy sleep habits. While a short daily walk is a great foundation for an exercise routine, some patients prefer other forms of activity. Recommended tasks include gardening, guided gym work, and dance classes.
Pet therapy continues to gain popularity as an activity for individuals with dementia. If your loved one has always been an animal lover, pet therapy could be the perfect mood-boosting method. Studies have shown that individuals with dementia show decreased challenging behaviors when they spend time with an animal, and as a result, more assisted living facilities are offering pet-friendly rooms. Some research has indicated that pet therapy leads to improved socialization, so caregivers may want to explore this possibility for patients.
Art is a powerful tool for self-expression and can promote feelings of well-being. Art therapy is often a valuable addition to the care routine for Lewy Body Dementia, and can be achieved in numerous ways. Encouraging creativity can be done in the home with the help or participation of a caregiver, and there are also art programs specifically designed for individuals with dementia. Programs such as Meet Me at MoMA and Here: Now at Frye Museum are excellent examples of art appreciation programs to explore.
Lewy Body Dementia often affects memory, muscle control, and behavior. While many types of dementia impact a person’s cognitive abilities, listening to or playing music typically remains an enjoyable activity for those with LBD. Learning new skills may be difficult for individuals with this disease, but patients who were past musicians can benefit from continuing this familiar pastime. For non-musicians, simply listening to beloved tunes can improve mood and decrease levels of depression or anxiety.
Lewy Body Dementia affects approximately 1.4 million Americans each year, and this unique form of dementia requires a high level of support from caregivers and physicians. If you or someone you know is experiencing any stage of LBD, it’s important to plan activities to provide stimulation and encourage emotional well-being. For more information on LBD, please visit us online at lewybodyresourcecenter.org. Our helpline is available 12 hours a day, 7 days per week, so please give us a call at 516-218-2026.