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Best Things For Dementia Patients

Why Do Dementia Patients Fidget

How to Talk to Someone With Dementia

If a dementia patient is anxious or stressed, you can usually see it in their hands. They are likely to pull at their clothes, wring their hands, rub their skin, or twist their fingers if they are afraid, upset, or agitated. Fidgeting and associated behaviors are how people with dementia deal with their discomfort.

Sensory Activities For People With Dementia

  • Stop and smell the roses Studies suggest smells trigger more vivid emotional memories than images, according to Harvard scientists. This is because scents are processed by the hippocampus and the amygdala, the same parts of our brains that control memories. A familiar smell like flowers from a childhood garden or freshly baked Christmas cookies can elicit positive memories and emotions. Conversely, its important to avoid smells that cause anxiety. Diesel fuel and gunpowder are common PTSD triggers for older veterans.
  • Explore familiar objectsTactile exploration can bring up memories that may not be accessible through pictures or verbal prompting. Even if your loved one doesnt remember their first car or their wedding, the feeling of weighty keys or hand-embroidered pearls could encourage reminiscence.
  • Have a taste of historyLike smells, tastes can elicit emotions and memories. Your moms famous chocolate cake could bring back birthdays a sip of instant coffee could recall quiet, early mornings at home.
  • Feel diverse texturesUnique textures provide sensory stimulation, as well as memory cues. If your aging family member is a pet lover, consider the soft fur of an animal. If they liked to garden, suggest touching damp soil or leaves. Textures can also be used for fulfilling activities try making a bag of fabrics or blocks to be be sorted by touch.
  • Exercise And Activities To Promote An Active Lifestyle

  • For dementia patients with limited mobility, try chair exercises. Chair exercisesare great for seniors whose mobility is limited. Find ways to encourage the person to move while sitting down. Seat your loved one in a comfortable chair and sit down facing the person. Play some stimulating music and start moving your arms, head, shoulders, legs, and feet. You might try tossing some propspom-poms, scarves, or small ballsback and forth with your loved one. Be inventive! Itll add to the fun. Activities for Seniors with Dementia: How to Create Quality Time, The Bristal Twitter: @thebristal
  • Dance to music from their generation. Find a CD of music from your loved one’s time. If they are able, encourage them to dance and shuffle around a bit with you. They will not only benefit from the activity, but from the music of their generation, too. Activities to Do With a Loved One Living With Dementia, Fall River Jewish Home Twitter: @FallRiverJH
  • Take a walk. Go on a walk with your loved one through the park or courtyard. Take in the scenery and focus on how the sun or breeze feels. Try doing activities such as tai chi or yoga outdoors, as these activities calm the mind and allow for better sleep at night. The Health Benefits of Time Outdoors, The Jewish Association on Aging Twitter: @AHAVAMemoryCare
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    Fidget Toys Like Bubble Poppers

    Fidget toys are a relatively new thing, mainly among children and pre-teens. But fidget toys can also be a great tool for memory care facilities to use for dexterity therapy. The fidget toys called pop-its are like plastic bubble wrap that require users to push a small round bubble in varying patterns and colors. It is fun and intended to alleviate anxiety in young children and can be just as beneficial for elderly folks with anxiety.

    Activities For People With Dementia

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    It’s important to have thoughtful and specially designed activities for those with Dementia, Alzheimer’s and others who live with similar types of memory loss. At The Alzheimer’s Store we are constantly testing new stimulating activities to help your patient or loved-one remain engaged with the outside world and with each other. Be sure to look at our MUSIC THERAPY category for our music player and other music related items. Choosing activities and entertainment that remind the user of their past interests is key. Whether your loved one enjoys coloring, puzzles, DVDs, music, or working with their hands, you can find a new way to help them celebrate their passion. The Alzheimers Store also carries an assortment of mind-strengthening activity books. Using brainstorming and matching games, you are helping dementia patients exercise their cognitive skills and hold onto cherished memories!

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    A Clinical Nurse Educator And A Dietician With Chapters Health System Share Valuable Advice For Families Who Care For A Dementia Patient

    Caring for a dementia patient is not easy. Dementia describes a range of neurological conditions affecting the brain and worsens over time. Changes in the brain cause nerve cells to stop working properly and eventually die. As a result, patients lose the ability to remember and think at levels required for daily life. Researchers have linked the changes in the brain to certain forms of dementia, but in most cases the changes causing dementia are unknown.

    When caring for a dementia patient, it is important to know the different types of dementia. Alzheimers disease is the most common form. According to the Alzheimers Association, around 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 live with the disease today. This number could increase to 13.8 million in 2060 if no medical breakthroughs are made. Like many forms of dementia, the condition is typically associated with buildups of specific proteins in the brain and a loss of connection among nerve cells.

    Artifact Uprising Softcover Photo Book

    Artifact Uprising offers some of the most gorgeous personalized photo prints, books, and keepsakes. Their Softcover Photo Albums are the perfect stocking stuffer or giftdepending on the size of book you chooseto store all their favorite memories. Ranging in size from 5×5 to 10×10, all you need to do is choose your photos, upload them, and place them where you want them. Soon after you will receive your photobook, sure to put a smile on anyones face! These customized memory books are a cost effective and thoughtful option.

    Price at time of publication: $17

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    Spend Some Time In The Garden

    For more time in the sun and fresh air, try a regular gardening routine. A 2021 study looked at the effects of horticultural therapy interacting with plants in myriad ways on the cognitive function of people with dementia. The study included plenty of activities that can be done in a backyard or even with indoor plants: planting, cooking with plants, and making plant-based crafts. Horticultural therapy reduced apathy in dementia patients in just ten weeks.

    Joel Flagler, a horticultural therapist and professor at Rutgers University, responded to the study findings: Any time a person reconnects with nature, good feelings and healing can come, he told Being Patient. Its important to remember that the plant doesnt discriminate: The plant doesnt care if the person has dementia, or theyre in a wheelchair, the plant is ready to respond to that person.

    Should Dementia Patients Watch Tv

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    Watching TV is a popular leisure activity for many older people, but it can become a challenge when disturbed by dementia symptoms. It is generally advisable not to allow dementia patients to watch TV unsupervised. However, watching TV with a caregiver or a person close to them can be good for the emotional well-being of the dementia patient.

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    Watching Old Tv Shows Or Movies

    Although they may not recall specific details, your loved ones favorite movies or tv shows can stir up positive feelings and can be a great activity to do together.

    Studies suggest that the best movie to watch for someone with dementia is something fun and upbeat, shorter in length , not violent, and straightforward in plot and number of characters.

    Choose a movie that your loved one enjoys and fits those parameters. While you watch, describe the movie or comment on an actor and see if your loved one wants to discuss the film. Movies are more than just a way to fill the day. In fact, they can be a tool to connect with your loved one with dementia and a great activity to enjoy together.

    Tips For Choosing The Right Activities For Dementia Patients

  • Relate activities to the patients work life or interests. A former office worker might enjoy activities that involve organizing, like putting coins in a holder, helping to assemble a mailing or making a to-do list. A former farmer or gardener may take pleasure in working in the yard. Activities, Alzheimers Association Twitter: @alzassociation
  • Avoid over-stimulation. Try not to overstimulate the person with dementia. Be selective with outings. Avoid crowds, constant movement and noise, which many people with dementia find overwhelming. Dementia – activities and exercise, BetterHealth Channel Twitter: @BetterHealthGov
  • Remember, activities include more than just planned activities. It is also important to understand that activities are not just planned activities. Activities can include life skills which means participating in their daily living skills. They are encouraged to help hold the tooth brush or wash cloth, or to choose an item of clothing. This could also include meal time activities. They could be encouraged to fold the napkins, set the table, clear the table, or wash the dishes. Also, allowing them to help with watering the plants, dusting, or folding the laundry. These are all activities and just as important as a game of bingo. Activity Ideas for Alzheimers/Dementia Residents, National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners Twitter: @NCCDP
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    Care Plan For Dementia Patients: Examples Of What It Should Look Like

    The advantages of routine memory care show the relevance of dementia care programs.

    Daily routines can be beneficial to both the caregiver and dementia patient. A scheduled day allows caregivers to spend less time figuring out what to do and more time doing meaningful and enjoyable things.

    Even minor changes to the activity care plan for dementia patients, such as exercising in the morning instead of the afternoon, might cause your loved one to become more stressed. This compounded tension can throw off the schedule, thus causing more compounding stress. Read on to know what care plans for dementia should look like.

    Stimulating Memory Care Activities For Dementia Patients

    What Are The Best Activities For Dementia Patients

    November 17, 2022Comments are Off

    Are you struggling to find engaging memory care activities that your loved one with dementia will enjoy? Check out our comprehensive list of memory care activity ideas to find one that best fits your loved ones personality, interests, and skill level.

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    Play Old Videos Of Themselves

    If youre lucky enough to have wedding videos or other videos of your loved ones before dementia, watching those together can be an enjoyable way to bond and help them remember things about their lives that they have trouble with. Sometimes people with dementia will even just awe at a wedding video and say how beautiful the people in the video are, despite not knowing its themselves. Either way, it sparks joy in them.

    Encourage An Emotional Connection

    For many people with dementia, a sense of movement and rhythm is often retained. Listening to music, dancing, or contact with babies, children or animals provide positive feelings. People with dementia often have excellent memories of past events, and looking through old photos, memorabilia and books can help the person to recall earlier times.The opportunity to relive treasured moments can be deeply satisfying. If reading skills have deteriorated, make recordings for them. Locate picture books and magazines in the persons areas of interest.

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    Activities To Do With A Family Member Or Friend Who Has Alzheimers Disease

    Its important to spend meaningful time with a family member or friend who has Alzheimers disease or a related dementia. Participating together in activities your loved one enjoys can help improve their quality of life and manage behavior changes that may come with the disease, such as sleep problems, aggression, and agitation. It can also help grow and strengthen your connection. However, it may be difficult to know what activities you can safely do with your loved one.

    Explore examples below. You may need to modify these activities based on the persons preferences and abilities.

    Types Of Exercise For People With Dementia

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    If the person used to enjoy a particular form of exercise, such as golf, encourage them to take it up again with your support. Other suggestions include:

    • walking this is one of the best all-round exercises, and its free. Walking also helps to work off the restless urge to wander that is typical of Alzheimers patients. Try combining the walk with a useful errand, such as going to the shops for milk or exercising the dog
    • cycling a tandem bicycle allows you to sit up front and control the bike, while your passenger sits in the back seat and pedals. If the person with dementia has problems with their balance, you could try hiring a three-wheeled bicycle for them to ride, while you cycle alongside them
    • gym work such as treadmills, stationary bicycles and weight machines
    • aerobics you could attend classes together or hire appropriate low-impact aerobic workout videos.

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    Try Not To Get Your Feelings Hurt

    As your loved ones dementia becomes more advanced, they get more confused and forgetful. That means theyll sometimes forget who you are. That doesnt mean they love you any less or forgot all the memories youve shared over the years. The older a memory is, the longer it stays with them.

    I read something from the wife of a man with Alzheimers who had a wonderful way of looking at this, said Cramer. She was sitting in a car with her husband who no longer remembered her. She lovingly touched his arm. He pulled away and said Im sorry miss. You are very nice, but I love my wife. Instead of being sad, this filled his wife with joy because he still remembered her.

    Chapters Health System is committed to serving the needs of its patients, families, caregivers, health providers, partners, and communities.

    For more information, please call our helpful Chapters Health team at 1.866.204.8611 or Contact Us.


    Activities That Promote Healthy Eating

    • Cook together ask the person about their favorite meal and work together to make it. Or look up healthy cooking videos online and try to make them yourselves.
    • Plant vegetables together in the garden or in pots.
    • Have a picnic together bring healthy food options the person likes. Bring a portable or camping chair if the person has trouble sitting on the ground.

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    How To Keep Dementia Patients Busy

    It can be difficult to keep dementia patients busy, especially if they have an advanced form of the condition. However, many activities can help them stay engaged and entertained. Here are some ideas on how to keep dementia patients busy:

    • Give them simple tasks: Giving dementia patients simple tasks can help them stay engaged and prevent boredom. Examples of simple tasks include sorting objects, folding laundry, and watering plants.
    • Play music: Music can be a great way to keep dementia patients engaged. Playing soothing music can help them relax, while upbeat music can help them stay energized.
    • Read aloud: Reading aloud to dementia patients can help them stay engaged and can even help with memory recall.
    • Spend time outdoors: Spending time outdoors can help dementia patients stay active and connected to nature. Simple activities like gardening, walking, and bird watching can be enjoyable for them.
    • Work on projects: Working on projects can help dementia patients stay busy and productive. Projects that involve sorting and organizing items can help them stay engaged and can help them recall memories.
    • Tablets and smartphones: Tablets and smartphones can be a great way to keep dementia patients engaged. There are many apps available that can help them with memory recall, puzzles, dedicated dementia applications and more.

    Take A Trip Down Memory Lane

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    Reminiscing is incredibly meaningful for people with dementia and their families. It can be a fun and joyful experience for older people to meander through memories without the pressure to focus on anything specific. Try looking through a scrapbook or photo album, and seeing what memories come up. Even if youre hearing the same stories repeatedly, try to hold in any frustration or boredom. Psychologist Douwe Draaisma refers to oft-repeated memories as a nostalgia factory, wherein the act of repetition brings pleasure. Some therapists have even begun to develop reminiscence therapy programs to formalize the benefits of thinking back on fond memories.

    It can also be comforting for people with dementia to discuss older memories because recent memories have been lost and older memories remain. Dr. Andrew Budson, chief of cognitive and behavioral neurology at Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and professor of neurology at Boston University, explains it as such: Your mother is talking more and more about things that happened long ago, because those are the memories that are the ones that are present for her. The newer memories may have been lost by the Alzheimers process.

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