Senior Activities: Whether your senior has physical or cognitive difficulties in doing certain activities, adapting them so that she’s still able to do at least part of them is really important.
This helps to preserve your senior’s independence and can assist her in maintaining her self-esteem, too. Talk with your aging family member about which senior activities she needs and wants help with so that you can put together a plan for assisting her the way she needs you to do so.
Find Ways to Set up Senior Activities for Her
Making activities easier for your senior can start with you setting up the scene for her. That might mean laying out her clothes for her in the order she needs to put them on or setting up her toothbrush with toothpaste at the sink. What you’re doing is helping her to have what she needs ready to do the relevant activity.
Be There While She’s Completing Activities
Staying in the room or nearby when your senior is doing the activity can be incredibly helpful, too. This isn’t so that you can hover, but more to be ready just in case your senior does need assistance. If there’s something that she forgot or that you need to help her to set up again, you’re already right there.
Offer Prompts When Necessary
The other reason to stay there and just be ready to help is that your senior may need prompting. If your elderly family member is experiencing cognitive changes, like dementia, she may forget what comes next in a sequence of events, even if she’s done that activity plenty of times before. You might not think that your senior would forget to rinse her mouth out after brushing her teeth, but it can happen.
Model or Guide Activities
Something else that can help is to model activities for your senior. You can brush your teeth together, for instance. Or you can place your hand gently over hers and guide her as she brushes her teeth. She’s still doing the activity herself, but you’re there to offer her the guidance that she needs to follow through.
As much as you might want to be, you may not be able to be there with your senior every time that she needs help with these senior activities. Having extra help from elderly care providers can also help you to see this entire process in action and learn to follow it more effectively.