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Memorial Day Activities for Mild Dementia

Have you recently discovered that your loved one has dementia? Are you searching for practical ways to engage them in meaningful activities, especially during travel? Mild dementia is the first stage in the dementia journey. It involves changes in higher-level thinking skills. Your loved one might forget simple things like taking medication or might repeat stories. These changes can be frustrating, but recognizing them is the first step in supporting them effectively.

Download your FREE copy of "Memorial Day: 50 Activities for Person Living with Mild Dementia" today and create a world of possibilities for your loved one.

The Importance of Activities

Activities are essential for people with mild dementia. They help maintain cognitive functions and provide a sense of purpose. Think of activities they used to enjoy, like gardening or knitting. These activities can still be part of their routine but might need slight modifications to make them easier and more enjoyable.

Practical Tips for Memorial Day Travel

1. Plan Ahead

Traveling with someone with dementia requires careful planning. Consider their comfort and needs. Plan your route, include frequent rest stops, and ensure you have all necessary supplies. Preparing ahead can make the journey smoother and less stressful for everyone involved.

2. Create a Comfortable Environment

Ensure your loved one is comfortable throughout the journey. Bring familiar items from home, like their favorite blanket or pillow. These familiar items can provide comfort and reduce anxiety.

3. Engage in Simple Activities

While traveling, engage your loved one in simple, meaningful activities. This could be as easy as looking through family photos, listening to their favorite music, or engaging in light conversation. These activities can keep their mind active and provide a sense of connection.

4. Be Patient and Flexible

Flexibility is key. If your loved one becomes tired or overwhelmed, take a break. Adjust your plans as needed to accommodate their needs. Your patience and understanding can make a significant difference in their travel experience.

Making Activities Meaningful

When planning activities, focus on what your loved one enjoys and what they can still do. Here are some ideas:

Crafting: 

Simple crafts can be therapeutic and engaging. Use materials they are familiar with to create something together.

Cooking:

Involve them in simple cooking tasks like stirring or measuring ingredients. This can be a fun and rewarding activity.

Gardening: 

If they enjoyed gardening, help them with planting or watering plants. This can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity.

Minimize Symptoms through Engagement

Engaging in meaningful activities can help minimize the symptoms of dementia. These activities should be enjoyable and not too challenging. The goal is to keep them engaged without causing frustration or anxiety.

Conclusion

Traveling with a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but with careful planning and patience, it can also be a rewarding experience. Remember to focus on simple, meaningful activities that they enjoy. Your support and understanding can make all the difference in their journey.

Join Our Community

If you need more support, join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families
It's a positive space to navigate dementia caregiving together. Find practical tools, support, and a community that understands your journey. Let's create meaningful connections and make dementia care a little easier for everyone.

We invite you to register for our Activity Engagement in Dementia Mini-Course!

This informative course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to effectively engage individuals living with dementia in meaningful activities.

Don't miss out! This course expires on May 28, 2024.

Register here: 
https://www.thinkdifferentdementia.com/activity

Listen to the Podcast

Listen to the episode on the player above, click here to download the episode and take it with you or listen anywhere you normally listen to podcasts.

a close-up of a flag Memorial Day Activities for Family Caregivers of Loved Ones with Mild Dementia

Transcript

Introduction to Dementia Stages

[0:00] I want you to picture in your mind three buckets, and each one of these buckets is a different stage of dementia or different level of dementia. In today's episode, we're going to look at bucket number one, which is mild dementia, and we're going to unpack it related to how to engage gauge somebody living with dementia in activities, as well as how to travel well related to this Memorial Day weekend. And we're just going to kind of unpack it and give you some really down and dirty practical tips and activities that you can download so that you can actually make some memories and connections with your loved one living with dementia this Memorial Day. So check out this episode.

[0:55] Have you recently found out someone you love has dementia? Struggling to wrap your head around how to be a Christian caregiver? Searching for answers by joining countless Facebook groups but find them toxic? Learning how to cope with dementia feels difficult, but learning a Christian caregiving worldview can be easy. Hey, brother and sister in Christ, I'm Lizette, occupational therapist, pastor's wife, turned dementia coach, and a daughter of dementia. In this podcast, you will learn the truth that the way to make dementia care easy is your faith. Knowing that a loving God has decreed this hard providence in your life makes all the difference. Here you will gain skills. You will be challenged by what God says in his word about caregiving, and you will learn exactly what dementia is and is not. Find clarity and certainty from God's word so you have perseverance for this journey. Use science-backed solutions and biblical principles to redeem your time. Praying this blesses you as we dive into dementia from a Christian perspective. Let's glorify God despite dementia.

[2:22] Today I would like to try something very different. I for this episode. We're going to start a quick three-part series on easy activities to engage people living with Alzheimer's and dementia in. And part one, today's episode, is going to be about mild dementia.

[2:45] I want to take you back about 31 years when I was still an occupational therapy student in South Africa. And I'm extremely grateful that I graduated from the university that I did all those many years ago, because what it enabled us to do was activity analysis using activities. And the activities that we used were crafts, arts and crafts. So I was taught at a very early age in my career to be able to do woodworking and lots of other things like flower arranging and cooking and all of those kinds of stuff. So today's episode, we're kind of going to go back into the basics of what it is that actually sets an occupational therapist apart from other disciplines in the world, specifically activity directors, because we see the world very, very different to a person who is an activity director when you're an occupational therapist. So I thought I would share that background with you a little bit as a quick introduction because I know how many people tell me all the time one of their biggest struggles.

[4:07] Specifically at the beginning of a mild dementia journey is actively engaging somebody that they love in meaningful activities or, you know, the person is not getting up and doing the activities that they used to do. So maybe they used to garden and now they've stopped gardening or they used to knit and now they stopped knitting. Right.

[4:31] And so what I wanted to do in today's episode is really kind of unpack for people a little bit about what it means to actually engage a person living with dementia in a meaningful activity. And I thought I would do this in conjunction with Memorial Day, because Memorial Day will result in a lot of people traveling, in a lot of people moving, you know, going and visiting family in all of these different types of activities and opportunities to create meaningful interactions with the person that you love who is living with dementia.

[5:13] So to start today's episode off, I just wanted to give you a quick reflection using Philippians 4 verse 13. I can do all things well through him who strengthens me. And the reason I picked that particular verse is because I recognize that for a lot of people, coming up with ideas of how to engage somebody whose thinking processes have changed or are changing in activities seems super overwhelming, seems like I don't know what to do. They're not doing the stuff that they used to do, and I don't know how to change things to make it easier for them, or I don't feel like I have the time to do all of the research to figure it out. So we can, it just means that we have to do things a little bit differently. So these three episodes are all going to follow the same format because.

[6:20] I really want to touch on travel. And it's really become something that's become very, very near and dear to my heart related to taking care of and helping people living with dementia.

[6:33] So the first point for today, what we're going to talk about is understanding what mild dementia is and is not. And we're just going to do it in a very graphic manner. I want you to kind of picture in your mind three buckets. So we have a bucket on, you know, one bucket, a second bucket, and then a third bucket. And so bucket number one is mild dementia. Bucket number two is moderate dementia, and bucket number three is severe dementia. And the reason I'm using these three buckets is because even though there are seven different stages of dementia.

[7:19] It truly is helpful, specifically to family caregivers, to really just put them into three different buckets. And so the first bucket, I'm going to go over all three today, and I'll repeat them every in this series just as, you know, how do adults learn? We adults, we learn by repetition. Everybody learns by repetition. And adults, they actually learn by making mistakes. They make their own mistakes. So we'll talk about bucket number one as being mild dementia. So what I want you to consider related to people with mild dementia is they have just started down this process.

[8:07] Typically, the first thing people tell me or recognize is like, my mom keeps asking me the same questions. Have you had that happen, right? It drives everybody nuts, and I understand that. But that's usually one of the first symptoms that people will notice. They'll say, mom's not remembering things anymore. She's not remembering to take her medication anymore, or she just keeps telling me the same story over and over again. And so that's typically the first thing people notice, but that's really just the superficial level of what we see. When people are starting to have mild dementia signs and symptoms, the first stuff that goes away is.

[9:01] Are the things that we call in the fancy medical terms, the higher level thinking skills. So let's just briefly unpack what it means to say somebody's higher level thinking skills are changing. These are the things that we all know. We just don't necessarily recognize it as that. How many of you guys have had teenagers or have been around young adults growing up, right? So I'll never forget, you know, teaching my young kids, my young children, my young adults in my life to drive and to drive a stick shift car. You know, there's a lot of skill that has to come in. There's timing.

[9:51] There's, you know, just processing all of the information related to driving. But then now you have to learn how to find your way around and you need to be able to push in the clutch and, you know, change gears and then put on the accelerator. So it's all of these skills that are coming together. In a young adult, what we see when they are developing are all those higher level thinking skills, things like organizing and planning and anticipating the consequences of the actions that they're taking and managing time and timing things and all of those kinds of stuff. This is why a young teenager, you know, a teenage up until college years.

[10:43] Why they typically still live at home. They're still struggling with some of those kinds of things, but they can get dressed, right? They can go make themselves a snack. They could even prepare a simple meal. Some of them may be really proficient and make really fancy meals. All of these kinds of higher level skills that we all develop as a young adult growing into adulthood. Well, a person living with mild dementia in that first bucket, those are the skills that they're starting to lose when they are starting to change, when their brain is physically starting to change. So they can still do a lot of the activities that they always did. It's just starting to become evident that they're not doing it as well. They still look really well put together. They may just be forgetting things. They may need reminding to take their medication.

[11:49] Somebody who is in a mild dementia stage still has the ability to learn information that they care about. Not information I care for them to remember, but if they value the information, they can still learn new information. It takes them longer. It may need a lot of repetition before they can learn this information. But a person living with mild dementia is still very able and very capable of participating and being active in activities, meaningful activities.

[12:31] The problem that happens frequently, though, is that a person living with dementia will start to lose the ability to actually initiate initiate doing something on their own. So I'll use myself as an example. You know, when I want to, I'm very self-motivated, self-propelling, right? I can initiate a lot of activities on my own. But when I don't feel super well, like I did last week, I just laid on the bed and I couldn't initiate even, you know, feeding my own face, never mind getting up and doing a meaningful activity.

[13:13] So I bring these kinds of ideas up because so often people tell me, but my mom doesn't want to, or my dad cannot, or he doesn't, he's not doing the things that he did before. And not necessarily understanding or realizing that it's not that they don't want to, it's just that they've really lost the ability to do it by themselves. They need a little bit of coming alongside them and facilitating it and helping them to participate in a meaningful activity. And one of the things that I want to really highlight to people here today related to participation in activity, I want you to really think to yourself, what is the purpose behind the task? Is the purpose behind the task to be right? Right.

[14:14] You know, for example, playing a game, a Monopoly or a card game or any type of game where there are certain rules, is the purpose behind the activity for you as the person walking with them to be right in the activity? Or is the purpose of the activity to engage something in something else that is meaningful, that give people a sense of purpose. We are all created in the image of God, and as such, we were created to work. We are not created to not engage in our environment. We are not created to not be in relationship with other people. We are created to be active. We are created to do things. And that creativity never goes away despite a dementia journey. We still have that retained ability. It just looks different. So I want to really emphasize to people, think through what is the purpose behind the engagement. Is it to create meaningful relationships? Is it to cultivate connection?

[15:41] Is it to have a product? Or is it to, you know, or do you just want to be right in having the thing look the way or the activity be 100% correct, you know, with an example and it looks exactly? Because for me, the better way to help somebody living with dementia is to take all of the exterior expectations away and just live in the moment and enjoy it. And that is a total 180 from my training as a therapist, because as a therapist, my job was to constantly correct people and to rehabilitate them. But how do we, point number two is, how do we now engage people in meaningful activities? And I just realized I didn't do bucket number two and bucket number three. So I will do bucket number two and bucket number three in our, in the next episodes, and then I'll recap them as we're going along. So, point number two is how do we actively engage people in meaningful activities?

[17:01] Why are activities important? Activities are important, and I kind of touched on that in the previous point, in that we are created in the image of God, and because of that, we were created to work. God ordained for us to work six days and then to rest on the seventh day. But because we are created in the image of God, we are created to actually be creative, which is how we can make things and think things through and think things out and have such a wonderful opportunity to use our hands or our brains or our skills in music or singing or all of these types of activities, right? And most of us, when we have young adult children or kids, we teach them to sing. We teach them to play a musical instrument.

[17:57] We play games with them. We do all of these creative activities when we're driving or when we're sitting at a stoplight or all of this fun stuff. We just pull things out of the air and we make things up. And that's a sign that shows us that we are creative. We have been created in the image of God. And Ecclesiastes 3 verses 1 talks about a time for everything, right? There is an appointed time for everything, and there is a time for every matter under the sun. And the reason I chose this particular verse today is to encourage us in the busyness of life to actually set aside and appoint a time in the walk that we are doing with people who are living with mild dementia to engage them in their environment, to bring them along with us, to facilitate and encourage them to continue to to engage in their environment. Now, we're going to talk briefly under engaging people in meaningful activities of what I call the forgotten activities. Now, why do I say the forgotten activities?

[19:25] And that's kind of ironic, isn't it? I just noticed that. But the forgotten activities are activities of daily living.

[19:35] That's just, most of us have heard of the term activities of daily living. It really just means anything and everything that I would do every single day, which can include all the way from putting on my shoes every, and socks, or me walking outside to go play with one of the nine little baby chicks that we just got yesterday for our backyard chickens. An activity of daily living is any activity that we would do any day. Now, for me, chickens are a daily thing. For you, they may not be. But it's all the way from walking to the fridge, opening it up, and getting something to eat or drink, getting in the shower and taking a shower and getting dressed, all the way through to.

[20:27] Setting up your medication and all of those activities that we do every single day. The reason these forgotten ADLs, the forgotten activities, are so vitally important for people living with dementia is these activities are the ones that have been highly, highly practiced, which means they're routine and very familiar, and we can tap into that as the person progresses through their dementia caregiving journey. Now, there's another set of activities or a way of looking at things that are what I call or what's called novel and different, which means it's not the same as I've always done and it's different to the way I've always done it. So routine and familiar is your friend when you're trying to maintain or keep a person from losing abilities and skills. We want to tap into those routine and familiar. Novel and different is really good in the mild dementia phase because it actually makes you use your brain. A person living with mild dementia.

[21:52] Still does have the ability to learn information that they care about. So when we give them something novel and different to do, it really does make them use their brain as opposed to just using the automatic functions that we're all extremely well-versed in using. Now, when we when we engage a person with mild dementia in an activity that is novel and different, I want you to remember, again, going back to what is the purpose behind the activity that you are doing with the person. If it is to make a connection and to build a relationship, you You shouldn't be choosing an activity or engaging in an activity that has such high requirements for the quality or the product that it is resulting in as opposed to something that you can just have fun. So let me unpack that for you for just a second. For example, a cooking activity can be all the way from cracking an egg, beating it, throwing it in a pan, and making scrambled eggs.

[23:14] That's a cooking activity. All the way to making eggs benedict that needs to look exactly like eggs benedict does without any lumps or anything in your Bearnaise sauce. Okay. Two vastly different types of activity. So when we are engaging somebody with a mild dementia in an activity, if I want to engage their brain, I would actually do an activity that makes them think. But the difference would be that me, I would be controlling their environment. I would be in setting them up for success, making it failure-free. And what I mean by that is I would be the one to ensure that the result, that the product, is actually the product that we want. I would take the burden of making that item, that product, look that particular way or come out in that particular manner, off of the person living with mild dementia, and I would just.

[24:29] Facilitate participation through me. Now, you can do that for every single activity that you've ever done. Every single activity that you do can be made harder or can be made easier. For example, like I said, you know, the cooking activity. How many of you guys, when your kids were little, remember teaching them to cook, right? They couldn't read a recipe, listen to music, have a conversation with you, and actually get that meal or that item that you're trying to teach them to cook prepared. They just didn't have the ability to do that. So, you know, we made it simple for them. We gave them step-by-step instructions. Maybe we gave them, And maybe we showed them what to do first and then they did it. After us, we guided them through the process.

Unpacking Higher Level Thinking Skills

[25:21] We didn't expect them to just be able to do it. But fast forward, my 27-year-old now lives alone, and she can cook with listening to music and talking to her husband and dancing in the kitchen. So each and every activity that we do can be altered and changed. The difference is for a person living with dementia.

[25:47] I'm the person that is helping make sure, specifically in a mild dementia.

[25:53] That the result of the product is that I'm in control of that as opposed to putting them in control. Now, I want to be kind and gracious and try to make it so that it appears that they are the ones who are successful, but I want to take that frustration away from them. I want to make it as stress-less and easy for them as possible, but still give them the result of working on that activity. So that's the second point that we're going to talk about today. The third point is how do we minimize the symptoms of dementia through engagement?

[26:42] What does that kind of mean? So we kind of touched on it a little bit. You know, we want to minimize the symptoms of dementia through our activity engagement by being sensitive to the person that we are helping. If we notice or we see that they are becoming frustrated because the activity is difficult for us, our purpose behind the activity shouldn't be to try to let them work through that frustration. The purpose should be to try to make it easier for them so that they don't get frustrated, so that they don't feel anxiety.

[27:25] So that they don't feel like they are being judged or that they are going to have a failure in the product that they engage in. So some practical tips for or minimizing symptoms through engagement, particularly here at the mild dementia range is.

[27:53] Like I showed at the beginning, a person living with mild dementia still has the ability to learn highly valued new information. And there really is the principle of use it or lose it. So we do want people living with mild dementia to be challenged a little bit, but I don't want them to be challenged to the point where they are frustrated, where they're getting angry at you, where they withdraw themselves from the situation because it was too difficult. So we want to use it, but we don't want to make it be of such a high level of.

[28:34] Discomfort and anxiety, more like a therapy session, that they don't then want to participate and have meaningful engagement through activities with you. People living with mild cognitive and mild dementia can still benefit from actual cognitive skilled stimulation and training. So for example, that could look like computer-based training programs like Brain HQ or lumosity. But yet again, what is the purpose behind the activity? If the purpose behind the activity is to maintain and not lose it because we're not using it, then a course of.

[29:26] Therapeutic activities to work on their thinking processes is appropriate. But if the purpose behind the activity is to engage in the environment, to build up social relationships again, to.

[29:45] Create memories, then we're not going to pick something like a cognitive activity to work on actual brain function. We want to choose the activities wisely and put them together behind with the purpose behind what we want that meaningful activity to be used for. And so we really do want to manage expectations. And I don't mean manage the expectations of the person living with dementia, I mean manage my expectations as the family caregiver. Yes, my mom was, was, slash is, a prolific artist. Her art looks vastly different than it did when she was 42 years old. However, she is still an artist, and her art is still beautiful, and I have to manage my expectations that she cannot still do the same type of painting that she did when she was teaching me to use oils and make oils.

[30:54] Oil paintings. But she is still extremely creative and does beautiful artwork. It just looks different. And so I have to manage my expectation and not be sad about the fact that it doesn't look the way it did when she was 42, but be joyful that she is still being creative and engaging aging in her environment. It's just a very different way of thinking about it and looking at it, isn't it? So that's the third point, is how to minimize mild dementia symptoms through engagement and some strategies, some practical tips for you to manage your own expectations and to really decrease the stress of the person that you are supporting and helping.

[31:44] The fourth one I really wanted to touch on in this new series that we're going to do over the next three podcast episodes is how to travel well during Memorial Day, because I recognize a lot of people travel during the Memorial Day holidays, and it's the unofficial start of summer. And, you know, there's too many people I've worked with for so many years, and this is a radical change for me, that too many people do not want to travel with the person that they help who is living with dementia because we're taught, therapists will tell you, and I own that I was one of those therapists that used to tell people don't travel. I'll never forget, I had so many patients, and I so badly wish I could go back and change my recommendations for these patients. But I had so many patients over the years where mama would live with one daughter for years.

[32:53] A month and another daughter for a month. And the strategy as a therapist was to try to convince them as a family that that was a stupid plan and a stupid idea because mom's cognitive abilities change every time she goes from one environment to another. I totally, totally regret that particular recommendation for so many different reasons now. But one of them is because I really don't think it makes that big a difference in the thinking processes of the person that they are helping. And I think it has such a tremendous benefit to the people who are the primary caregivers. It gives them built-in rest and time to recharge. And it gives the other sister and the other family members time to still connect with mom. So for all of those people, all of those years that I made all of that stupid recommendations, I sincerely apologize. And I beg you to, you know, not, if you're in that particular situation.

[33:57] Continue to move the person from one person to another, because in the end, I think it really does improve their quality and your, dear family caregivers, quality of life through this process. But anyway, that was a little soapbox. But traveling well, I really want people living with dementia to travel. Like I said, this is a radically, radically different way for me to think about it. And I invite you to go back to episode, I've got to find it real quick, episode 98, which was one mistake a dementia caregiver makes by not traveling. It's my interview with Kathy Schoaf-Speer of Elite Cruises and Vacations, because I was very privileged to spend 10 days on a cruise with nine people living with dementia, and it radically changed my life. So I invite you, if you haven't listened to that episode, episode 98, the link will be in the show notes, go listen to the interview related to, traveling, and a cruise in specific, but traveling with somebody living with dementia.

[35:15] So how do we travel well this Memorial Day? Memorial Day, this episode will be coming out on May the 17th, so a couple of weeks before Memorial Day, and I wanted to start to prepare people who are thinking about taking somebody living with dementia somewhere and maybe thinking, oh, I shouldn't do that for whatever reason. It's going to be too difficult, or I don't have the time to put it all together, or they're not going to remember it anyway, so why should I go? Those are some of the things that people tell me all the time. And so I wanted to talk about some practical tips for you to travel well this Memorial Day. The first thing, and this is going going to sound stupid simple, but you just need to prepare. You just need to plan ahead. Obviously, if you can fly, you can drive, you can go on a train, you can go on a cruise, you can do anything you choose to do this Memorial Day weekend coming up, because as long as you plan for it, you can still travel with somebody living with dementia. It may look a little different. It may I'll use myself as an example. For a year, my husband and I were living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

[36:36] And my mom and dad were still in Greenville. So Pittsburgh-Greenville is about a nine-hour drive distance.

[36:47] And I learned to be able to time it and do it in one fell swoop by leaving at a certain time when I left Greenville to miss the traffic in all the big cities and the same thing going from Pittsburgh to miss the traffic in all the big cities. And I could nail that sucker down and I could drive that nine-hour road, knew exactly where to stop, knew exactly when to stop. And as I'd hit either Pittsburgh or Greenville, I'd be thinking, oh, I could go another hour. And then it would hit me, right? No.

[37:27] Helping somebody living with dementia? No, we're not doing it that way. We've got to plan ahead. We've got to be a little bit smarter than that. We need to take a little more time. We might need to break the trip over two days. We may not go on a nine-hour drive. We might only choose to do a two- or a three-hour drive. But if we plan ahead and if we put these strategies in place beforehand, it is still possible to take somebody who is living with dementia on a trip. Most people with mild dementia are still continent. They still know when they need to go to the bathroom, but you can prepare ahead in case of emergency. You can have the person, even if they don't wear pull-ups usually throughout the day, you could just have them wear a pair of pull-ups just in case. You can't make it off the highway or off the road until you can make it to the next stopping point. Just plan ahead, put in lots of rest breaks, pack a picnic lunch, make it a journey, go do something along the way, take photos, rethink your travel, like point A to point B, as opposed to just being a.

[38:52] Utilitarian, let's get there, but kind of let's stop and smell the roses type of a journey. Journey consider what's better for you a second tip is consider what's better for you is it going to be better to to fly even though it may be a little more expensive but it might condense the time of the travel a little bit more or is it better to drive can you build in a couple of days beforehand can you build in a couple of days afterwards to just create space and time so that that it's not so anxiety-provoking because a person living with dementia.

[39:34] Will take on the energy and the emotional vibes that you as the caregiver put out. So if you're super, super stressed because you're trying to cram in everything into that nine-hour drive between Pittsburgh and Greenville because you just want to get there, then guess what? The person that you're helping is going to be stressed too. So building some extra time. Some safety considerations to consider is really have some strategies in mind. Some have thought through the fact that you know that you are traveling with somebody living with dementia, and that means that you cannot do certain things the way you've always done them.

[40:17] I, you know, hate to bring up the story, but recently, and I believe this gentleman was just recently diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia and went on a cruise, not my dementia-supported cruise at all, and with just his spouse. And she didn't know enough yet because life, they had just found out he had dementia and he wandered away in Mexico. And so we have to be cognizant, we have to think about it, that the person is not in their own environment? And what strategies do we have to keep an eye on them? That may mean, you know, do we look at some GPS tracking devices, even though we've never needed them at home? Do we consider some of those strategies? Or do we just...

[41:11] Admit and say, okay, this person cannot go into a public restroom by themselves without somebody standing at the door to make sure they don't just take off, because that's literally what happened to this person in Mexico. So I wasn't telling you that story to switch you off about traveling. It's just I want people to be aware that, yes, you do need to think differently about your traveling, because quite frankly, when you are traveling with somebody living with dementia, I want you to put on your hat as parent. Even though this is your adult person that you love, whether it be your spouse, whether it be your sibling, whether it be your parent, they are not processing information, the way they always used to. And so we become the safety mechanisms. We become the safety forces behind them. And it's our responsibility to keep them safe, just as it was our responsibility to keep our children safe when they were little. We didn't let them go into a public restroom by themselves for multiple different reasons, but wandering away, it was one of them. So we just need to be thinking through these types of situations.

Practical Tips for Traveling with Mild Dementia

[42:35] Now, I want to invite you today, Day, I made a downloadable activities guide for each one of these stages. So there are 50 activities put together into groupings of different types of activities, 50 activities for mild dementia that I pulled together for you as a gift for specifically this Memorial Day travel, this Memorial Day holiday. And I'd encourage you to go to the show notes and download the guide because it's helpful. It's more like a checklist that you can actually use to come up and just brainstorm some activities so you don't have to come up with it on your own. So that's my gift to you for this Memorial Day. And then I just wanted to kind of prepare you you guys and let you know, I am super excited. I am going to try something. You know, how do adults learn? Adults learn by making mistakes. And I have made multiple mistakes in my career and multiple mistakes since starting this podcast. But I wanted to kind of let you know, I'm giving you a little bit of a teaser that the week of Memorial Day from the 22nd of May through the 28th of May, I'm going to have a very.

[44:04] Short two-hour, two to three-hour mini course, really going into activity engagement in a much more in-depth, meaningful way with a lot more downloadable activities for you to actually have to be able to engage somebody living with dementia. So I just want you to keep it in the back of your mind. It's going to be a super, super short three-hour maximum mini course that you can get and download and have all of the resources for yourself for the Memorial Day weekend.

Announcement: Mini Course on Activity Engagement

[44:41] But it's super, super simple, super easy, and it'll be very, very helpful to you as you are navigating a dementia caregiving journey to know how to actually actively engage people living with dementia in activities. And it'll give you everything, everything you need to know related to activity engagement. So keep your eye open for that. I'm excited about it. I'm very excited about it. So I really am looking forward to presenting that to you. One of the ladies that was on the cruise with me mentioned using the presentations that I built for the cruise specifically. But after the cruise, she mentioned to me that she took some of that information that we gave, that I gave her in the activities and was able to utilize it with her husband. And he was so engaged in participating again in a meaningful activity. And it totally changed the way she looked at helping somebody living with dementia. So keep your eye open. It comes out May 22nd, which is not super far from when this episode comes out. And if you like these episodes, please share them with someone. I really do want to serve you, and I would love it if you would share this podcast with your family, with your friends, with your church members.

[46:09] One of my biggest struggles is people in church are not talking about the fact that they are helping somebody living with dementia. So pay attention to your friends, ask questions, And then if you find somebody who is.

[46:25] Helping someone else living with dementia, share this podcast with them. You will do me so much of a significant blessing if you were to do that. But thank you so much for being here in today's episode where we're talking about 50 easy activities for Alzheimer's and dementia people, part one. And tune in on Monday for the next episode in this brief little mini-series on how to participate or engage people with dementia in meaningful activities. And like all of these programs, may the Lord bless you. And please know and understand, I really do pray for people who are family caregivers of somebody living with dementia every single day. And I'm here. Reach out and I would be more than happy and blessed to help you through this process. I will see you in the next episode.

[47:29] Do you feel alone and isolated and need a little bit more help and support in this journey? Sign up for our next Ask the Dementor monthly meetup where we will come together. Less than 10 people are allowed to sign up at a time so we can have fellowship where we can answer questions, where you can get some Christian guidance and just an awareness that you are not alone on this journey. I really want you to be able to connect with me. I want to be be able to answer your specific questions. So if you're struggling, if you're tired, if you're overwhelmed, if you're stressed, if you just need a little bit of help, sign up for the next Ask the Dementor monthly meetup. The link is in the show notes below.

[48:30] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to serve review. You can serve me by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families. It's a positive and proactive space to navigate dementia caregiving together. Get practical tools and find support, but without the verbal vomit. Be a part of our community where we seek to find peace of mind and ease despite the dementia diagnosis. So join today and see you next time as our flight takes off.

2 senior traveling

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About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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