Stimulating activities for Alzheimer’s patients
Struggling to find meaningful activities for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia? You’re not alone. Thousands of family caregivers just like you are searching for engaging activities for their loved ones. We know firsthand how difficult it is to find them, but through our work helping thousands of clients in memory care communities, we have discovered several mentally stimulating activities that can provide a higher quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Listen to Music: As we wrote in a previous blog, listening to music is one of the most revitalizing activities for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s. Not only is music soothing and calming, it also stimulates the brain, evoking memories and increasing recall.
Get Cooking: The role of chef can be an eminently engaging activity. The sense of smell is one of the strongest senses tied to memory. Preparing a meal not only connects one with the past but can provide a sense of accomplishment once a recipe is completed.
Explore the Outdoors: If weather permits, getting in touch with nature can invigorate the senses. Taking a moment to breath fresh air, take in the scenery, hear the birds chirping and feel the warmth of the sun is immensely therapeutic. For an additional challenge, navigate a local trail, letting your loved one evaluate directions. (This is not recommended for those suffering through middle or late stage Alzheimer’s.)
Read: This simple activity provides light exercise for the brain. Reading a newspaper regularly can provide routine. Exploring favorite books from the past can engage long-term memory. Short stories are more ideal than full-length novels for this activity, given the greater ability of Alzheimer’s sufferers to absorb shorter content.
Help with Household Chores: While the idea of folding laundry and vacuuming may not sound like fun for anyone, everyday activities can provide an opportunity to feel successful and productive. Creating a routine out of everyday chores can be a valuable addition to the daily life of any Alzheimer’s sufferer.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stimulating activities, so we hope these provide a springboard for coming up with creative activities. Stay tuned for more information on non-pharmaceutical therapy in upcoming blogs. If you want to explore additional resources and local memory care communities, contact your local advisor.