COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the country but there is one particular group of people who many have forgotten about, the “Dementia Care Partner.” Providing care and support to someone with dementia is difficult even in the best of times. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it takes up to three people to provide care for one individual living with dementia.
The current pandemic has made this challenging role even harder with adult day care centers being closed and a fear of placing loved ones into facilities. Home to Stay continues to help the New Jersey community by offering residents non-medical home care services with highly trained certified home health aides. Care is provided with dignity and safety, both hourly and around-the-clock.
At Home to Stay, we continue to search for ways to break-up the day and add excitement and variety for our dementia patients. Gary Skole, founder of AlzBetter, shared his great idea with us: How about a scavenger hunt?
According to Nancy Alterman, LCSW from the New Jersey Institute of Successful Aging, a scavenger hunt can be a very successful activity to engage both the person living with dementia and the people caring for them. It is really very simple. Create a list of items and then drive around trying to find them. The key is to make it fun and engaging.
Care partners should get excited when they find something on the list and if the person living with dementia thinks they see an item, always count it, even if it is not exactly accurate. We want to make them feel as though they are contributing and a helpful member of the team. When it is over, have a celebratory meal.