This paper clip fishing game can be fun.
Scatter paper clips on a table and have your loved one pick them up and put them back into a container.
Many people grew up learning different skills using their hands. Skills could include woodworking, carpentry, crocheting, knitting, model building, and even daily chores. Manipulating every day objects like opening a door with a key takes them back to a more independent time.
Hardware, Locks, or other objects that can be disassembled and reassembled fairly easily.
If your care recipient appears restless, agitated or idle for long periods of time, try providing him or her with familiar hardware or objects that they can hold in their hands and manipulate. If you don't already have some supplies at home you can go to the local hardware store and pick up a variety of useful objects. The objective is to choose pieces that can be disassembled and reassembled fairly easily. Locks or PVC piping or another material that they worked with in their youth could work.
This practice helps you focus on where you would like to be, and removes you from your daily stresses.
Find a quiet and relaxing space, and sit in a comfortable position. Start by focusing on your breath; breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Clear your mind, and visualize a safe and calming scene. For instance, you can envision a place where you can relax and be at peace, or you can envision yourself acheiving something that you have been wanting to do.
Magazines and books are a great outside source of entertainment.
A book, magazine, or audiobook.
Either read a book or magazine aloud to your loved one, or let them flip through one on their own. If your loved one doesn't mind headphones, an audiobook, either on a smartphone or tablet, might be perfect. You can get audiobooks free from your local library or from Audible by Amazon when you purchase an Audible Membership.
Poems are a great way to engage your loved one and may help them remember stories and tales from when they were younger.
A poem or a book of poems.
With prompting, your loved one might remember a poem from long ago, or may simply enjoy hearing you recite to them.
If you are feeling particularly creative, can also recite a poem pretending you are a diffent person or using a different accent. Some people may know some poems or rhymes off the top of their heads. Others may need some resources. Ask your local librarian for assistance if you are having trouble finding a poem to share. Some suggestions include a Dr. Seuss book that they read to a child, "The Night Before Christmas," or a traditional poem that rhymes. A good example is this poem by Eugene Field:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afraid are we
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,\nAnd you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
This is a conversation game where you talk about two different options and why you would prefer one over the other.
Ask Questions Like:
A hand massage using a little lotion with a favorite or relaxing scent is a simple way to connect and reduce tension.
Hand lotion. (An example of a complete Hand and Foot Lotion kit.)
Gently rub your loved one's hands. Be sure to be very soft in your pressure. Hand lotion can help.
Putting something familiar or meaningful in the hands of someone with dementia can provide a great deal of comfort and help soothe restless energy.
Pick objects that are sentimental to your loved one. Have them hold the object, and describe to you what it means to them or why it's important.
Using music as a means of relaxation is a great way to distract someone who may be distressed. Music can be used in a variety of ways, but it is most important to choose music that your love one connects to and is familiar with. While jazz may soothe one person it could agitate another.
Choose music that is tailored to the person. Ideally, something that the person has heard in their youth. Songs that were popular when the person was in their youth, teens, or early twenties would be a good place to start. To discover the best music, ask questions like these:
Did the loved one grow up with ethnic music and have favorites?
Favorite movie musical, if any?
Favorite Broadway musical, if any?
Is there a favorite WW2 or other war-related song?
Is there a favorite opera? Classical score?
Does/did the loved one attend religious services? What denomination? Do they have any favorite hymns?
You can also find lists of the most popular songs from each decade at Acclaimed Music.
Have a playlist of at least five songs that are soothing. Sit in a comfortable chair and listen
Deep breathing can be done anywhere and at anytime, and can help you relax and refocus.
Turn your attention to your breath. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four. Exhale for a count of four. Repeat this process rythmically until you feel your body and your mind have calmed.