Activities for Dementia Patients: Hedgehog Leaf Craft
Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a challenging and emotional journey. Dementia is a progressive condition that affects cognitive abilities, memory, and everyday functioning. One way to provide meaningful interaction and stimulation is through planning crafts and activities that can be modified to suit their current abilities. Caregivers who embrace this approach can find immense satisfaction in knowing they are making a positive impact on their loved one's quality of life.
Cognitive decline is a hallmark of dementia, but engagement in stimulating activities can slow down the progression of the disease to some extent. When planning crafts and activities, it's important to choose ones that are appropriate for the individual's current cognitive abilities.
Depression and anxiety are also common in individuals with dementia. Engaging in creative and enjoyable activities can help alleviate these negative emotions. When crafting or participating in activities, individuals with dementia often experience a sense of accomplishment, which can boost their self-esteem and mood.
Dementia can make verbal communication difficult, leading to frustration for both the person with dementia and their caregiver. Crafts and activities provide an alternative means of communication. Nonverbal interactions through art, music, or simple games can help maintain a strong emotional connection and facilitate positive exchanges.
Preserving a sense of independence is crucial for maintaining one's dignity and self-esteem. By planning activities that are tailored to the person's abilities, caregivers can allow their loved one to feel a sense of autonomy and control over their environment. This empowerment can significantly improve their quality of life.
As dementia progresses, the person's abilities may change rapidly. Crafting and activity planning should be flexible and adaptable to accommodate these changes. What may have been a more complex craft in the past can be simplified or modified to suit their current abilities.
Engaging in crafts and activities offers an opportunity to create positive memories. Even if the individual may not remember the specific activity later, the emotions and feelings associated with the experience can leave a lasting impression.
This simple hedgehog craft can be modified in a number of ways. The hedgehog body can be drawn freehand or you can download a template to trace. You can use leaves made from cloth, foam, or stickers or make your own leaves from construction paper. You can draw the face or use googly eyes. The goal is to create an enjoyable activity to work on together.
Hedgehog Leaf Craft
What You’ll Need:
- Safety scissors
- Leaf stickers in various sizes
- Black marker
- Optional: Clear glue if using leaves that don’t have their own adhesive.
- Draw an eggplant shaped body for the hedgehog on the cardstock.
- Cut out the hedgehog body.
- Add the leaves to the back of the hedgehog body.
- Draw an eye on the hedgehog’s face.
- Color in the nose.
- Put the hedgehog on display to welcome autumn’s arrival.
- While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, engage them in conversation. Play music they enjoy softly in the background to create a positive mood.
- Even though your loved one may not remember names or things that happened in recent days, they may still remember their childhood. Ask about favorite colors or clothing they used to wear or how they celebrated holidays as a child.
- Activities for people with dementia have the best chance of success early in the day when your loved one is well rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again another time.
- Remember that the goal is to have an engaging activity with your loved one with dementia. Don’t worry about the end result.
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to support patients with dementia and their families. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about how our unique care programs help provide a higher quality of life for dementia patients while helping caregivers avoid burnout.
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