According to the Alzheimer?s Association, over 15 million Americans are caring for a loved one with dementia. There are several different kinds of dementia, but the one most commonly associated with old age is Alzheimer?s Disease (AD), which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. A complex condition, AD cannot be successfully treated with any one drug or treatment, however it can be managed and slowed down. As the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult for loved ones to be cared for at home, and usually, assisted living that specialize in Alzheimer?s care is a better option.
Most assisted living residences provide 24-hour supervision, and three meals a day in a group dining room. In addition, a wide range of services are available at differing levels of independence for the senior. And assisted living facilities also provide medication management, health care, housekeeping, and transportation. One of the best benefits of assisted living facilities is the daily activity and memory care activities for seniors.
In considering the word ?activities,? keep in mind there are daily necessity activities, such as bathing, dressing, and eating, which almost half of all assisted living residents require help with, as well as social or physical activities, such as playing a game or taking a walk. But for those suffering from AD or other types of dementia, memory care activities for seniors are absolutely essential.
The results of a recent study on the effects of cognitive stimulation in people with dementia revealed proof that memory activities increased brain functioning with lasting results. While there is no known cure for Alzheimer?s, there is proof that it can be slowed, with consistent effort. This improves the overall quality of life and helps improve general health.
What are some effective memory activities for seniors? There are literally hundreds of useful activities in a wide range of types, from kinesthetic to aural and visual. Here are five that have been proven to have positive results and help with Alzheimer?s care.
1. Discussion of past and present events and topics of interest, often with the visual aid of photographs and music.
2. Walking is known to stimulate cognitive activity and improve focus. If walking isn?t possible, then traveling in a wheelchair is the next best thing.
3. Word games and puzzles are mentally challenging and force the mind to zero in on specific information, along with accessing short term memory and strengthening the connections between old and new knowledge.
4. Creative activities stimulate brain activity. Knitting, drawing, sculpting, as well as making music, writing, or storytelling are all excellent memory care activities for seniors.
5. Practical, every day activities such as cooking or gardening can help prompt memories, and they also strengthen one?s self-confidence and sense of independence.
The most effective memory care activities for seniors are those that provide cognitive stimulation for both mental and social functioning. These activities can be implemented by a family member, friend, or a professional caregiver, and should be varied from time to time, finding a balance between routines and unique events. The most challenging part of assisted living for seniors is feeling like life is still fun and satisfying, and that they are not a burden to their families. While there are many important reasons to rely on assisted living, improved memory care activities for seniors is a primary one.