There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are ways to ease the symptoms and slow the progression of this disorder. Stimulating mental activities can help seniors with Alzheimer’s experience more calmness and less agitation and aggression. Here are a few activities that can boost a senior’s self-confidence and help him or her hold onto cherished memories.
1. Sing Along to Favorite Songs
Music can be a powerful tool for caregivers and seniors with Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that music therapy calms seniors who have dementia-related disorders and reduces other symptoms like confusion. Singing along to your loved one’s favorite songs can challenge his or her mental abilities and potentially slow the rate of cognitive decline.
Sometimes family caregivers are not able to provide seniors with the support and assistance they need. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Arvada, Colorado, in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
2. Play with Clay
Activities that stimulate multiple senses at the same time are generally the most beneficial to seniors with Alzheimer’s. Playing with clay or making small items can enhance hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Choose one common item each day that your loved one can try to recreate independently.
3. Walk Through Nature
Seniors who live close to parks, beaches, or nature trails should try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Nature stimulates almost every sense at the same time, and it often keeps seniors with Alzheimer’s calm and engaged. While walking through nature, encourage your loved one to name everything he or she sees, including birds, squirrels, and flowers. Wandering through nature is also an excellent way to gently raise the heart rate and burn some calories.
4. Try Out Old Skills
One of the most interesting facts about Alzheimer’s is that a senior’s muscles can sometimes remember old skills long after they fade from his or her mind. Pastimes such as crocheting, whittling, knitting, painting, and carving are excellent options for those who are in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s. If your loved one is having a tough time picking a skill back up, encourage him or her to start as slowly as possible. Instead of trying to crochet the first day, your loved one can play with the yarn or pick out his or her favorite colors to use.
5. Look Through Family Recipes
The sense of smell is very powerful, and it can evoke a distinct emotional response. Seniors who are having difficulty retaining their long-term memories often enjoy smelling their favorite childhood foods. Caregivers who decide to cook with their loved ones should remain with them at all times to prevent issues such as cuts and burns.
Caring for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming at times. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Arvada Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
6. Make a Scrapbook
Scrapbooking is another simple activity that can be challenging, stimulating, and enjoyable. When making a scrapbook, many seniors enjoy sticking to certain themes such as music or animals. They can also add items that stimulate their tactile memory like fabric or pressed flowers.
Engaging in such activities is important for your loved one’s mental health. However, some families are not always able to provide the cognitive stimulation seniors need. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Arvada, CO, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call one of our qualified Care Managers at (720) 642-1600 to learn more about our services and how they can benefit your loved one.