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Boredom Often Causes Agitation
Written By : John Jones Jr. 
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Most of us know what to do to prevent or eliminate boredom. We seek and initiate an enjoyable activity to fill our free time.

Looking for ways to prevent boredom is likely a daily challenge for caregivers who are spending more time inside with their family members. Caring for a person with memory impairment can add an additional challenge.

For a person who is experiencing memory impairment, the ability to initiate activities declines as an illness like Alzheimer's progresses. The process of identifying boredom and knowing what to do about it is beyond their understanding.

Because boredom can lead to agitation and wandering in a person with memory impairment, offering ample opportunity to engage in activities of interest is important. making sure that the activities are appropriate for the persons level of functioning is equally important.

When planning activities for the person with memory impairment, it is helpful to think in terms of nurturing his remaining abilities. Think about what he can do and plan activities that can lead to success rather than focusing on what he cannot do.

If the patient has always loved cooking but can no longer follow the steps necessary to make a meal, find simple steps in the process that he can still accomplish. With cuing, he may be able to measure dry ingredients for the recipe as you supervise and complete the rest of the tasks.

When school is out, it would be a perfect time to include the grandchildren in fun activities with the family member who is experiencing dementia. Gather scrapbook supplies and invite the grandchildren to work on a project with the grandparents. Simply reminiscing as grandma and grandpa sort the photos during the activity is beneficial for them while the grandchildren can be in charge of completing the more difficult tasks in the project.

The patient may enjoy playing cards even though they cannot follow the rules of complicated games such as cribbage or bridge. Choose simpler card games tat can be played with the younger family members. Remind the grandchildren that having fun is more important than whether or not grandpa or grandma plays by the rules.

By being included in activities throughout the day, you not only prevent boredom but also foster self esteem. Feeling like they still play a worthwhile role is important to the person despite the devastating effects of memory impairment. While he may not be able to think clearly or understand reason, he can sense those familiar feelings of warmth and acceptance.

 
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