Understanding Boredom’s Effect on Dementia

A senior woman feels anxious due to boredom’s effect on dementia.

Aggression, anxiety, wandering, and more can manifest in a loved one due to boredom’s effect on dementia, but these tips can help.

Salt and pepper. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut butter and jelly. Some things are just supposed to go together. One combination you want to avoid, however, is dementia and boredom. Studies have revealed that boredom’s effect on dementia can lead to an increase in:

  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Wandering
  • Delirium
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • And more

In addition to that, boredom in family members providing care for a person with dementia is also troubling, resulting in an increased risk for depression and burnout.

How to Prevent Someone With Dementia From Becoming Bored

Clearly, preventing boredom is a must. These proven strategies are a great starting point.

  • Provide plenty of meaningful activities that build a feeling of purpose and self-worth. This might include helping with folding laundry, preparing meals, sorting nuts and bolts in a toolbox, or whatever provides a connection to the individual’s past occupation or passions.
  • Since boredom and loneliness often occur together, be sure there are regular opportunities for socializing in accordance with the person’s comfort level. If large groups of visitors are stressful, for example, ask friends and family members to visit one or two at a time.
  • Take sufficient time for reminiscing. Use scrapbooks, photo albums, and home movies. Search the internet for top news articles from a particular time period to discuss together.
  • Know what sparks interest, and seek out opportunities for engagement accordingly. For example, if the individual’s face lights up whenever they see a dog, explore pet therapy or arrange for regular visits with friends and family who have dogs.
  • Play the person’s favorite music through a variety of means: the radio, a playlist, videos of concerts, outings to local school musical programs or the individual’s religious organization to enjoy spiritual songs. Perhaps even plan a karaoke night with family, or a guitar or piano singalong.

Maintain a journal of which activities were most well received, as well as the ones that seemed to be of less interest.

A companion from Generations at Home is a great way to bring a breath of fresh air into the day of a person with dementia. Our caregivers are experienced and highly skilled in creative techniques to boost contentment and engagement for someone with dementia. A caregiver from Generations at Home will add much-needed socialization for your family member, while providing you with the opportunity to step away and take time for yourself.

A few of the various ways we can help include:

  • Engagement in ability-appropriate activities that offer purpose and help boost memory
  • Conversations and reminiscing
  • Assistance with personal care and hygiene
  • Providing transportation and accompaniment for fun outings
  • Planning and preparing nutritious snacks and meals
  • And so much more

Contact us at 727-940-3414 to learn more about our customized care solutions in St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Seminole, and the surrounding areas.