With an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia, knowing how to care for patients suffering from this condition is essential for any home care provider. Finding the right activities to keep patients occupied and content is an important part of aged care, but you might have noticed that many of the recommended activities have a decidedly feminine focus. This makes it tricky if you're caring for a male patient. Card making, baking, knitting and painting will appeal to some men, but many won't be keen at all. Luckily, there are plenty of activity ideas which are specifically designed to appeal to male dementia patients - read on for some inspiration.
Sanding and Painting Wooden Blocks
While many of the recommended craft projects have a very feminine focus, there are still some good options. For men who enjoyed carpentry earlier in life, sanding and painting wooden blocks can be a lovely way to stay focused and occupied. Provide wooden blocks in a variety of different sizes, then lay out a range of different sandpapers and ask your patient to help you prepare the blocks. Once smooth, you can paint them together. It can be nice to suggest that the block is painted as a gift for a family member, perhaps a grandchild. Seeing the finished product will give your patient a great sense of achievement, and tactile activities like this can be more stimulating for dementia sufferers than activities based solely on talking.
Sorting Through Nuts and Bolts
For patients in the later stages of dementia, sorting activities can provide some much-needed focus without being too demanding. Combine nuts, bolts and screws in a large container, then provide several smaller containers for them to be divided up into. You might choose to divide them by size, type or color. The actual sorting isn't really what matters here, as the point of the activity is to keep your patient happy and occupied, feeling like they're doing something helpful and productive.
Washing and Polishing the Car
Many male dementia patients were car enthusiasts earlier in life, and this is a great area to tap into. While patients aren't able to drive anymore, they can still enjoy caring for and maintaining a vehicle. Get some car washing supplies and clean and polish your car together, being sure to involve your patient in every step of the process. Again, don't worry about how clean the car actually gets - this is all about enjoying a purposeful activity together.
Caring for a man with dementia can feel like a real challenge. Try some of these stimulating activities to help keep your patient happy, occupied and content.