by Chris Coelho, Senior Director of Quality Analysis
“My loved one with dementia doesn’t want to do anything at home anymore. All they want to do is watch TV.”
This is a common phrase we hear about people living with dementia when we go to visit families at home. The better way to reword that common phrase is: “My loved one with dementia can’t do things like they used to but still has those same interests.”
The important part to remember as your loved one progresses through dementia is that person still has many of the same interests that they used to have. They just may not be able to participate in those interests like they used to.
The goal is to have your loved one participate in those interests without having a specific goal in mind. For example, if your loved one with dementia used to draw like Leonardo da Vinci and now doesn’t have the same concentration or level of skill as before, that’s okay. The goal is to maintain their interests. Perhaps that translates to drawing simpler objects like silverware or shading pictures that have already been drawn.
The person living with dementia may not be able to draw or hold a writing tool anymore, but they may be more likely to look at some pictures of their favorite artists or read adapted books that contain larger print and more pictures. The goal should always be to stimulate engagement through communication, your senses, and your emotions. The outcome is not important if everyone had a good time.