Things change when you have dementia, obviously. If your past hobbies included things like woodworking, or other things that could potentially be dangerous, this is a good time to sit down with your caregiver and have an honest conversation about looking into interest that works for a person of your abilities.
If you have been waiting to start a new hobby or pull out that craft or model? Is there a project that is sitting on the shelve. It is critical that you find something that keeps your mind active and gives you joy. These types of activities not only fill the day they fight the negative effect of dementia. It is important that your hobbies include tactile things, meaning that you use more than your ears and eyes. Things that cause us to connect our hands and our minds help build new neuro pathways, so if you consider sitting and reading a hobby, don’t. Also beware that reading is going to become more difficult.
For me, I love to write almost as much as I love to talk. So writing these articles comes naturally. I must admit though, if I had not started this website earlier, the technical challenges may have overwhelmed me. I also paint. My painting skills aren’t near what they used to be, but I still enjoy the process and the feeling I get when I use that part of my brain. Below is a copy of one of my painting, so you can see the paintings I like to do… Watercolors of course.
One of the aspects of dementia is its impact on vision. Vision, not in the sense of losing eyesight, but loss of focus beyond your central point of vision. Dementia causes the narrowing of a person’s frame of focus to right in front of you. So, hobbies or interest that are visual that are not directly in front of you can be a real challenge as time goes on.
New interest or hobbies are easy to find and start. Find adult education courses. In my area we have a program called Forever Learning, they have a magnificent list of courses you can take in the spring and in the fall for a very low price. Alhiemers.net list a number of ideas in their article How to Help a Person With Dementia Continue to Enjoy Their Hobbies.
This is an outstanding example of where early diagnosis of dementia is important because it established early memory patterns and helps fight dementia, But… It can only start after you to take the first step.