Watching someone go through memory loss is never easy. However, being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t mean your loved one can’t be active or engage in enjoyable hobbies. At Cedar Creek, our senior living communities offer a safe environment where older adults, including advanced dementia patients, can participate in meaningful activities that bring them joy. Here are some of the best memory care activities for Alzheimer’s patients.
Did you know the parts of the brain connected to musical memory remain unaffected in Alzheimer’s patients? Listening to music can help dementia residents reflect on parts of their past and improve memory function. Music may also assist with the following:
Music isn’t just beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients — it can elevate the moods of loved ones, caregivers and anyone working or living in memory care facilities. It can also be used to improve fine motor skills. For instance, Cedar Creek often hosts sing-alongs, which is a great way to encourage residents to dance and get moving.
Sensory stimulation uses objects to encourage different senses (such as sight, smell and touch). The ultimate goal is to evoke positive emotions and help residents in memory care communities connect with the world around them. Some sensory-stimulating activities include:
- Walks: Short, guided walks give residents a change of scenery and a chance to get in touch with the outside world.
- Reading: Speaking and reading out loud to residents stimulates the ears and encourages listening skills.
- Hand massages: A hand massage can reduce pain, boost hand strength and lower anxiety levels.
At our memory care homes, we try to stimulate the senses using activities that residents may have a personal connection with. For example, we might read a resident’s favorite book to them or visit areas that they’re familiar with. We also give every resident their own “biography” which documents their unique histories, achievements and interests. The overall goal is to promote sensory function while also encouraging memory.
Who doesn’t love animals? Anyone, from young children to older adults, can benefit from spending time with cats, dogs and other furry friends. Engaging with animals also has practical benefits. Studies show that being around animals can help a dementia patient reduce the following feelings:
- Stress and anxiety
- Depression and loneliness
- Irritability and agitation
Playing with animals is also a great way for seniors to build their socialization skills (especially if they’re nervous about socializing with other residents). If you don’t have any pets of your own to share with your loved one, consider taking a trip to a local animal shelter — many shelters have plenty of pets in need of human interaction.
Whether a patient is in the early stages of dementia or has an advanced stage, they can benefit from exercise. Not only do fitness sessions enhance physical health, but they can also reduce stress and promote socialization. Fitness activities we encourage our residents to participate in include:
- Chair exercises
Just a bit of exercise can help residents improve their motor abilities and strength, making it easier to complete everyday tasks.
Group classes provide the perfect opportunity for seniors to get to know each other and form valuable friendships. Many seniors can also learn from one another’s unique experiences by sharing stories about their lives, interests and backgrounds. For memory care residents, this can double as a reminiscing activity.
At Cedar Creek, we offer small, skills-based group sessions, such as cooking classes. However, the focus isn’t necessarily the activity itself — it’s about forging relationships and creating happy moments. Our ultimate goal is for every resident to have a good time.
While the main purpose of group classes is socialization, residents can always receive one-on-one assistance if they need it. Our memory care professionals will be there to provide both physical and emotional support, as well as companionship and care.
Small Social Gatherings
Interaction is important for all ages, including seniors. Forming bonds with caregivers, loved ones and fellow residents can reduce depression and make elderly individuals feel safer in their environment. Of course, this isn’t always easy to accomplish, especially for dementia residents who may lack verbal skills. At Cedar Creek, we try to make socialization easier by hosting small gatherings where residents can get to know one another and create happy memories. These may include:
- Musical events
- Birthday parties
- Holiday parties
- Outdoor excursions
We also have a small home, which makes it easier for residents to connect. Our goal is to foster a tight-knit community that helps reduce stress and puts seniors at ease around one another.
Cedar Creek Memory Care
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most difficult things anyone can go through. Not only is it a confusing time for the patient, but it’s also hard for loved ones to witness. To keep dementia patients safe and healthy, it’s advisable to find a secure environment where they can get the assistance and care they need.
At Cedar Creek, we have a team of dedicated caregivers who provide individualized services to our residents. In addition to physical and cognitive care, we have an assortment of activities designed to offer entertainment and boost memory function. While we have an activities calendar, our community tries to be spontaneous and take into account the unique interests and abilities of our residents. We value the input of our residents and enjoy hosting activities that cater to their needs. The ultimate purpose of our activities is to spread joy and keep our memory care residents in good spirits.
Are you interested in learning more about our memory care homes? Feel free to contact us today at (301) 384-4017! Our team is more than happy to answer questions, share information about our services and learn more about your loved one.