Anyone who has cared for or has a loved one with dementia would most likely be familiar with the anxiety or agitation that seniors with dementia often show. Those with dementia are often frustrated that their minds may not be as sharp as they used to be and their mental abilities are lacking, whether they are aware that their faculties are declining or not. Others may graciously decline and be peacefully accepting of their changing environment. Either way, as caretakers, it can be hard to witness the decline and impact on those with dementia.
Every person at every stage of life has a need and a drive to be active and stimulated. Such a drive is still present in those with dementia although their cognitive level no longer coincides with their age level. To stimulate and engage those with dementia, there is currently a wide range of toys available to keep them entertained and stimulated. In fact, there are many companies that now make toys that are stage appropriate and designed specifically for those with dementia. Such stimulation can help soothe and relax those with dementia.
One of our clients recently shared with us how his wife, who suffers from Lewy Body dementia, has greatly benefited from daily sessions with her interactive toy kitten and puppy. It was very moving to hear him talk about how much his wife loves and enjoys her “pets” and how much stimulation it provides for her without him, as the caretaker, having the responsibility and burden of caring for a real animal. The Companion Pet Cat and the Companion Pet Pup are interactive “pets” that are fluffy and reactive to their surroundings. Click here to watch a video on the benefits that the Companion Pet Cat has had on the residents in a memory care unit.
There are many other toys and games that are stage appropriate for those with dementia. A quick internet search will reveal many other websites and companies that create toys and sensory activities specifically for those with dementia.
If you are a caretaker or have a loved one with dementia, there are many resources and items that can help enrich the life of the dementia patient while also enhancing the time you spend together – you are not alone!