Understanding the Connection Between Boredom and Dementia

A woman experiencing boredom and dementia stares blankly at the ground.
Engagement in meaningful activities can boost memory and help avoid the challenging mix of boredom and dementia.

Salt and pepper. Macaroni and cheese. Peanut butter and jelly. Some things are just designed to go together. One combination you want to avoid, however, is boredom and dementia. Research reports have revealed that boredom in dementia leads to an increase in:

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

Not only that but, boredom in family members providing care for someone with dementia is also troubling, resulting in a heightened risk for depression and burnout.

Simple Tips to Prevent Someone With Dementia From Becoming Bored

Clearly, preventing boredom is crucial. These tried and tested strategies are a good starting point.

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

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

A companion from Serenity Home Care is a fantastic 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 Serenity Home Care will add much-needed socialization for your family member, while giving you the chance to step away and take time for yourself.

Some of the various ways we are here to help include:

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

Email or call us at 250.590.8098 for more information on our customized care solutions in Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, in addition to the surrounding areas.