If a family member lives with dementia, introduce them to helpful memory care activities. Learn how Sagecare can assist your loved one during this time.
Sometimes activities become difficult for seniors with dementia. But, being engaged in an activity and feeling productive can boost their mood. If your loved one is living with any form of dementia, you might feel the urge to help them out in any way possible.
Seniors with dementia benefit from achievement, so participating in some activities can help stimulate their brains. In some cases, activities that trigger the brain can also improve the individual's cognitive abilities.
The best way to help your family member is by helping them move into a person centred dementia care residence where they can interact with other people. Sagecare offers brain-stimulating activities for memory care residents to help people with dementia challenge their brains. Tailoring activities based on an individual's interests is a great way to keep them intrigued. Here are some helpful activities to improve memory that seniors will enjoy.
1. Bring Out Board Games
Any simple board game that doesn't load to strenuous brain exercise can help a senior with dementia. Look for an activity that is fun, easy to complete, and doesn't focus too much on winning or losing. The feeling of losing a game might trigger an individual and make them feel unsuccessful, adversely affecting them. However, the game needs to be at a low level of complexity to ensure that the brain works to figure things out.
Playing board games will allow the senior to socialize with other people, and their mood will likely improve. Consider choosing a game with colourful objects for more sensory stimulation. You can introduce board games at any stage of dementia. However, it may be best to leave the easiest ones for the latest stages.
2. Learn a New Language
If your loved one is up for the challenge, help them enroll in a language class. Retrieving new information is one of the most engaging memory activities for adults. They could do this in person, online, or even through an individual that resides around them. Some homes for elderly with dementia consist of people from different backgrounds and cultures so that residents can learn new things from each other.
Learning a new language with the help of someone else or by themselves will challenge their brain. When an activity challenges the brain, it works harder to carry forward some tasks, improving cognitive functions. Learning a language is a complicated task, so you can suggest the idea when your loved one is still within the first three stages of dementia or Alzheimer's.
3. Sort Some Items
Sorting out items is one of the most relaxing memory activities for adults. The activity does not require large muscle groups, but it forces the brain to concentrate and focus on the task. You can provide your loved ones with coins, hardware, silverware, or other harmless objects and give them some time to organize them.
In addition to staying busy, sorting items can also allow the seniors to stay connected to their surroundings. Sorting household objects will feel like a regular chore they are interested in, but it will also be helping them with their memory. The benefit of this activity is that they can do it at any stage of their memory care process, and it is fun.
4. Paint a Picture
Activities that are a form of self-expression can also be valuable in this memory care process. Painting a picture will engage creativity, give seniors a platform to express themselves, and stay busy. In some cases, people who use creative outlets such as painting benefit from a boost in memory skills. Your family member might inspire other painters in the same nursing dementia care home who also like to paint.
Painting can sharpen the mind through visualization and allow the senior to feel more accomplished. The feeling of accomplishment will allow the seniors to be in a better mood and motivate them to partake in memory-engaging activities. It may not be the best option during the latest dementia stages, but it can be constructive in mild or moderate declining stages.
5. Listen to Music
Listening to music will allow the individual to feel nostalgic if the songs are older. In addition, music can also be very calming and will gently stimulate the mind. In some cases, music may motivate an individual to dance or sing, which can also help their cognitive functioning.
Music might not alter your loved one's cognitive status. However, music as a memory activity can be helpful at any stage. However, since it is a relaxing activity, people might enjoy it most when they are most anxious, likely to be at severe dementia or Alzheimer's.
6. Create a Garden
Among other activities to improve memory, gardening provides numerous benefits. It helps the mind and the body. Since you will need to walk around to garden, it promotes physical activity. On the other hand, figuring out what to plant and going through the growing process cycle also helps individuals stimulate their brains.
Gardening is best suited in the early or mid-stages of dementia since it can be a strenuous activity. Compared to some other memory activities, it can be too overwhelming in the latest stages.
7. Get Moving
Most physical activities provoke the mind and body. Regular physical exercise in any form will help the senior increase oxygen in the brain and reduce the risk of memory loss or slows it down. Exercise also reduces stress and improves mood. Due to its benefits, many Alzheimer's and dementia care facilities promote physical movement activities for memory care residents.
A senior requiring memory care can participate in various physical activities, such as dance, yoga, group fitness classes, or walking a pet. However, the activity depends vastly on the stage of dementia. For example, walking a pet or dancing is more suitable at earlier stages since it requires more concentration. In later stages, the individual can participate in less strenuous activities such as slow walking.
8. Stroll Down Memory Lane
Sometimes, the best memory care activity is the one that requires the least effort. Looking at old photographs can spark memories and conversations. In some cases, it might make no difference. However, some seniors might benefit from it as specific photos could trigger their memory, even temporarily.
Since this activity doesn't require much strength, you can do it at any stage of dementia without worry. Visual cues can promote engagement, even if it doesn't stimulate memory.
There are many forms of activities to improve memory that your loved one can enjoy. It can be painful to be in a battle with their mind and struggle to remember things. But, you can introduce these memory care activities to ease their mind and make the path going forward easy to follow.
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