There are almost 50 million people with dementia around the world. Having a loved one diagnosed with memory loss can be difficult, but it becomes even more challenging as the condition worsens. Emotions can run high for the caregiver, who, in most cases, feels frightened and isolated. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of such a loved one can prove even more challenging.
Traditional physical activities help dementia patients retain their cognitive senses. However, as their condition progresses, these activities may become more difficult for them. Thanks to the internet, there are many simple online activities people can do with minimal assistance. On the plus side, you can often engage in these activities together, no matter where you are.
Here are four online activities suitable for people with dementia.
Coloring and Painting Websites
Traditionally, coloring and painting have been popular, fun ideas for people living with memory loss. Over the years, people have relied on books and canvases for these activities. But thanks to the advancements in technology in recent years, online coloring works well on computers, phones, or tablets. This soothing and relaxing hobby retains its benefits while providing even wider avenues of creativity.
Cedar Creek Memory Care Facilities notes that websites such as The Color provide a fantastic array of coloring options, ranging from animals and nature to buildings and vehicles. They are easy to tap and fill, and making mistakes makes it even more enjoyable. The paintings can also be shared physically or via email, making it a shared experience for the entire family.
Online Games and Puzzles
Games are entertaining: it’s their primary function. For people suffering from dementia, brain games and puzzles entertain and improve their mental condition at the same time. There are endless options online, including sudoku puzzles and crosswords, which enhance brain memory and may be helpful in the earlier stages of a memory loss diagnosis.
The internet and app stores are also full of easy and more challenging brain teaser games. With such a wide variety of games to choose from, it’s easy to find games that match the patient’s interests. They also provide an avenue for fun interactions between the patients, their family members, and the caregivers thanks to the collaborative and competitive nature of many of them.
Being one of the most extensive archives of online videos on the planet, YouTube is a source of entertainment, education, and even relaxation for people of all ages. For dementia patients in advanced stages, the website’s catalog of old music and videos is excellent for taking a trip down memory lane. The younger people aren’t left behind, with video genres ranging from sports to lifestyle to music.
The platform is available on a variety of devices, provided the user has internet access. With an easy-to-learn user interface, the patient should have no problems navigating and finding videos they can enjoy. In case they are in the latter stages of the illness, you can easily play their favorite videos or songs or create playlists for them to enjoy on any device.
Online Music Playlists
Over the years, music has been shown to have significant therapeutic value. Listening to music or singing soothing music is popular in different care homes for people with dementia. Whether it’s in the early or later stages of the illness, music can be a great source of comfort and entertainment. Some different websites and applications can make playlists of one’s favorite songs to play on repeat.
Recently, music streaming services have created playlists explicitly designed for people with memory loss. The websites contain a massive collection of soothing songs in different genres to cater to certain preferences. Today, many smartphones and computers have online assistants, such as Siri, that can play music and playlists with simple commands.
Remember, Self-Care Is Also Important
Let’s face it: providing care to a loved one with dementia is not easy. It’s emotionally and physically draining, especially when balancing the commitment to care for the loved one and other family and household obligations.
You must develop coping strategies in such situations. As the caregiver, your mental health is vital for your well-being, and for the well-being of the patient as well. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself to decompress, and don’t feel guilty about handing over the caregiver duties occasionally, so you can recharge and come back stronger and better.