Activities for those who are disengaged from society.

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I have done that as well in trying to come up with things that my cousin, who has dementia would enjoy. It does depend on their level of dementia. Some people are still able to do things like read, do puzzles, watch tv, tend to plants, etc., but some are not. I found that unless there is a person leading, directing and involving the patient, they may not have the insight or motivation to engage in an activity. Keeping that in mind, you could take things with you when you visit and engage her then.

I would also discuss your concerns with the activity director at the facility your mom is living and see what they have lined up. You can share your concerns and see if they has any suggestions. I'd keep in mind that the things our loved ones used to do, might no longer be possible, due to them forgetting how to do them and/or not being able to focus on mental tasks. I would imagine the facility would have some things lined up though.

I've had some people suggest to me that the loved one locate the red buttons in a large jar of assorted buttons. This can engage them for a good while, but the patient may need to be supervised, since they may put the buttons in their mouth and that could be risky. Also, folding clothes as stated above.

I have seen these activity boards that you may purchase online. To locate do searches for dementia toys. They sit in the person's lap or on a table and have various tasks on them, like buttons, zippers, velco, and include things that have texture and make sounds. They are designed for people with dementia. It's aimed at keeping a person's hands busy and providing mental stimulation. However, keep in mind that depending on their level, some patients would just ignore that device and not find it interesting at all.
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Your loved one is in a nursing home and has dementia, is that correct? By "disengaged" do you mean that your LO doesn't interact with others and doesn't participate in group activities?

Does LO attend live entertainment, movie night, bingo -- the kinds of things done in a group, but with no real interaction with others?

Does the NH offer activities that are done individually, even if others are present? Such as crafts, gardening activities, baking, etc? Does the mere presence of other people bother your LO? I would think playing cards and interactive games would be out, but making a greeting card might be OK.

So my first suggestion would be to go over the monthly activities calendar with the social director and pick out some things that LO might enjoy.

How about activities like crosswords, word find puzzles, sorting things (coins, beads, markers.) My mother loves it when I bring in a laundry basket of clean socks and ask her to match them up for me. Mom also likes to fold a small basket of wash clothes that have different textures and colors. Coloring with crayons or markers or colored pencils is popular with some and can be done in a group or all alone.
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