Seniors and Alzheimers | December 7, 2015
Watching a loved one’s memory fade is not only painful, but also emotionally and physically draining. Caretakers often find themselves repeating sentences mentioned only a moment ago, and reminding patients or loved ones of the many daily tasks needed for proper everyday functioning: eating, bathing, taking medicine, going to the bathroom, etc. There are ways to make these stressful times more bearable, and even possibly slow down the brain’s aging process.1
According to an article published on caregiver.com there are several ways caregivers and loved ones care help keep a dementia sufferer’s brain active2:
1. Reminisce: Using phrases like “tell me about” to help loved ones remember events from long ago (long term memories are usually the last to go after short term memories). Ask them about their favorite meals or activities when they were younger.
2. Read out loud and use visual aids: Reading stories out loud and using visual props such as old pictures helps patients remember past events and stimulates the brain.
3. Incorporate Music: Singing and dancing not only stimulates the mind, it also helps with exercising the body. Increased blood flow to the brain helps patients think more clearly.
4. Sensory activities such as walking, painting, baking or even an hosting an ice cream party.
What is great about these activities is they can be used in both a private, non-paid caregiver environment and in paid caregiving environments such as in-home health care and nursing homes. By implementing these helpful tips, you can make the time you do spend with your loved one or patient more enjoyable and less stressful for the both of you.
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1“Brain Health.” Brain Health. Alzheimer’s Association, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_brain_health_maintain_your_brain.asp.
2Buckley, Jennifer. “Activities For People With Dementia.” Activities For People With Dementia. Www.caregiver.com, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. http://caregiver.com/articles/general/activities_people_dementia.htm