Exercise And Physical Activities
Tips For Choosing The Right Activities For Dementia Patients
Ongoing Care For Alzheimers Patients
If your family decides it’s time for the next step in providing dementia care for an aging loved one, memory care facilities or assisted living communities near you may be a great option to provide a safe, comfortable aging environment. Memory care communities are designed to support those with cognitive impairment by providing trained caregivers and offering activities that support sensory stimulation to improve overall health and well-being.
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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.
Reminiscing Activities For Dementia Patients At Home
Reminiscence therapy uses sensory or visual cues from the past to help seniors reconnect with positive memories. Instead of asking direct questions that could be confusing or stressful, try gentle guidance. For example, if youre looking at childhood photos, ask generally about growing up rather than where an image was taken.
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Daily Tasks To Treat The Physical Impairments Of Dementia
So much of dementia is taking away cognitive function in the brain, which makes for poor memory and day-to-day tasks that many of us take for granted.
Things like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, or even turning a doorknob can become arduous if not impossible for elderly dementia patients. Luckily, there are some ways to incorporate physical therapy into fun games or puzzles that can be enjoyed while benefiting the patient.
Putting Together Wooden Puzzles
Puzzles are a fantastic way to work on cognitive skills and hand-eye coordination. Try finding jigsaw puzzles with larger, more simple pieces to put together.
Not only do puzzles have cognitive benefits, but theyre also great for working on those fine motor skills! And the feeling of accomplishment from finishing a puzzle is sure to make you feel good too. Stick with wood or cardboard rather than plastic, as the latter can be hard to grip and pick up.
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Memory Care Activities Promoting Cognitive Stimulation
Cognitive stimulation involves memory care activities that stimulate general thinking, concentration, and memory. People with mild to moderate dementia are most likely to benefit from this kind of treatment when coupled with the right medicine. The World Alzheimer Report suggests that Cognitive stimulation should be offered to people with early-stage dementia for the best impact early on. While family participation and training in memory care activities is encouraged, it is in the patients best interest that it be provided by a range of health and social care staff with the correct training and supervision.
Treatments are carried out in a social setting of a small group of about four or five people with dementia for around 45 minutes at a time, at least twice a week. The activities are structured and should be tailored to the persons unique interests as much as possible to maximise their involvement and emotional engagement as well as stir past memories. The AARP.org expresses the importance of creating meaningful memory care activities that do not just full time but include their past interests, just modified for their safety and practicality.
There are many suggested memory care activities that have had positive results for people with mild to moderate dementia, and these include the following:
What Kinds Of Brain Exercises Should I Do
That may be vary from person to person. But the main idea seems to be keeping your brain active and challenged. You could start with something as simple as eating with the hand you usually donât use from time to time.
You can also:
- Learn something new, such as a second language or a musical instrument.
- Play board games with your kids or grandkids. Or get your friends together for a weekly game of cards. Mix it up by trying new games. The extra bonus of activities like these? Social connections also help your brain.
- Work on crossword, number, or other kinds of puzzles.
- Play online memory games or video games.
- Read, write, or sign up for local adult education classes.
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Creative Activities For Seniors With Dementia
Tailoring activities based on a seniors talents and interests is helpful, says Niki Gewirtz, a Senior Living Advisor at A Place for Mom and former executive director of a memory care community. She enjoyed getting to know residents hobbies before they came to memory care and using that information to personalize activities.
Think back or ask relatives and friends about your loved ones passions and strengths. Then, encourage them to do similar things.
It Is An Important Source Of Socialisation And Interaction
Regular socialisation with fellow peers and participating in engaging activities can help seniors keep their minds sharp as they go through this vital transition in their lives. Many persons with dementia experience loneliness and social isolation, which can damage ones health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
The interaction through playing games with friends strengthens a persons sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. The process of interacting with other seniors, regardless of whether they have dementia or not, can stimulate a sense of personal worth and improve the overall quality of life of an elderly.
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Memory Games With Cards Or Blocks
Many memory games require the user to find matching cards or blocks, which can be challenging for those with severe dementia. Still, patients with dementia can benefit significantly from such games early on. Simple ones like wooden jigsaws are fun and engaging while working on cognitive skills like problem-solving.
The Right Living Situation
Isolation is poison to your brain and body. It erodes your health, increasing your risk of premature death and a host of chronic diseases. It also makes keeping your mind active more difficult. A senior living community offers daily exercise, loads of activities, and a chance to make new friends. In the right community, youll get the support you need, along with the profound reassurance that, should your needs change, you can transition to assisted living or dementia care.
The Arbor Company understands the challenges of mild cognitive impairment. We also know that cognitive challenges do not have to end your independence. To learn more about our unique senior programs, contact us today!
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Memory Care Activities: Stimulating Activities For Alzheimers Patients
Activities are crucial for people living with Alzheimers disease or dementia, offering benefits such as cognitive stimulation, the opportunity to connect with others, comfort and relaxation, and more. Plus, physical activities and exercises are important for maintaining physical strength and balance, plus physical exercise is great for the mind, too.
If youre caring for a loved one with Alzheimers disease, you may sometimes struggle to identify activities that are within your loved ones capabilities and provide appropriate cognitive stimulation without adding unnecessary stress. Thats why weve compiled this list of stimulating activities caregivers can use with loved ones with Alzheimers disease, along with some general guidelines for identifying appropriate activities and ensuring that your loved one is able to participate and engage.
While many of the activities discussed below refer to activities that can be planned in assisted living communities and nursing homes, theyre also easy for caregivers to incorporate in the home setting.
Setting Up A Fish Tank
Alzheimers disease affects the appetite of the patients and also may be one of the contributing factors of depression in some patients. Setting up fish tanks in the living room or the dining room in the memory care facility can help with these effects as has been proved by research.
Colorful fishes in brightly colored tanks have also been proved to reduce disruptive behavior and keep the patients more relaxed. The living environment really matters a lot in the case of people with dementia and these fish tanks can help brighten up the place as well as provide a therapeutic effect.
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Use Times To Suit The Persons Best Level Of Functioning
To ensure maximum success when carrying out activities it is best to consider the times of day when the person is at their best. For instance, sometimes walking is best done in the morning or the early afternoon. However for some people who are particularly restless later in the day, or who have had a particularly long or meaningless day, a late afternoon walk may be better.
Dementia Activities Can Help Prevent Cognitive Decline
Various activities for dementia patients have been shown to slow memory loss and improve one’s quality of life. Various activities including household chores, reminiscence therapy, or fun games and puzzles provide intellectual stimulation, social interaction, and a physical challenge.
The key to selecting the right activities for dementia patients is to pair the activity with their cognitive and physical abilities. These activities should be as failure-proof as you can manage so they provide your loved one with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
If your loved one is in an early stage of dementia and fairly independent, we’ll leave you with one last activity: Have them download Snug on their phone. Snug was specifically designed for seniors who live alone, giving caregivers peace of mind. With Snug, your loved one will perform a daily check-in on their app, letting you know they’re safe and sound. If they miss a check-in, we’ll send you an alert.
Plus, you’d be surprised at how performing one simple task like checking in to Snug can give your loved one a sense of accomplishment.
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What Types Of Games Are Good For Seniors With Dementia
There are many types of games that are good for seniors with dementia. Some of the best include board games, card games, puzzles, and even video games.
Board games can be a fun way to keep seniors engaged. Card and video games can also be very entertaining for seniors with dementia while keeping them mentally stimulated.
For seniors who prefer solitary games, puzzles can be an excellent way for seniors to exercise their minds and hands.
Ill show you some specific examples for each type later in this article.
Stimulating Activities For Alzheimers Patients And Their Caretakers
We highly recommend engaging in stimulating activities on a regular basis. Daily mental exercise can help us save our brain cells and stay mentally sharp.
These activities can be done just about anywhere. So, if you or your loved one is receiving adult day care or home care services these activities can still be done.
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Why Are Cognitive Processes Important
Cognitive processes let you:
1. Understand sensory inputs:
Your brain transforms the sensations and information around you into signals for you to understand and act on.
Thats how you instinctively drop a hot piece of coal or turn when someone calls your name, or push a person onto the sidewalk when you see a vehicle dangerously veering towards them.
2. Elaborate information:
When you recall information, sometimes your brain fills in the missing pieces.
For instance, while buying groceries, you may remember an item that needs to be restocked but wasnt on your list. Also, at times when you narrate incidents to your friends, you may add details that werent part of the original memory.
3. Remember and recall information:
Your short-term memory stores information, such as the office address for your upcoming interview. And your long-term memory helps you remember your childhood home address or a language you learned at age five.
4. Contextualize information and solve problems:
Cognitive processes link past information to current information and help you make decisions to solve problems. Your attention to your surroundings, memories, understanding of language, biases, and judgments all contribute to how you interact with your environment.
For example, you rush to turn off the oven when theres a slight burning smell because you know the consequences of what might follow if you dont.
Now, heres another important question:
Customize For Your Older Adults Abilities And Interests
It might take some trial and error to find activities that your older adult will like.
Use their previous preferences and interests as a guideline, but dont be afraid to try things they werent interested in before dementia can significantly change preferences.
Experiment with these ideas to find what suits your older adult best.
Use the suggestions as a starting point and customize as needed for their ability level and interests.
Remember that interests can change when someone has dementia, so dont be afraid to try something again in the future to see if there might be a different reaction.
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