As members of our society age, it will continue to be important in promoting their engagement in social and emotional wellness to maintain their well-being. We know that people with many social ties have lower mortality rates. There are also tremendous amounts of evidence proving that active social networks can help to prevent declines in memory. While Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia, are not reversible, research shows that we can decrease the effects and slow the progression through both mental and physical activity.
A person with dementia does not have to give up their independence or activities that he or she loves. Oaks Senior Living's memory care community offers can be modified to enhance their quality of life, as well as reduce behaviors like agitation or wandering. Are you looking for activity ideas to do at home with your loved one? Visit ALZConnected for ideas and information. There are also some best practices to be aware of when planning activities to do with a parent with memory impairments.
Best Practices to keep in mind:
- All activities can be meaningful and do not have to “fit inside the box.” It is better to focus less on recreational pastimes and more on actual activities they would do throughout the day keeping in mind that it is important to stay flexible.
- Brain games can be fun and entertaining providing laughs but also help the brain to recall specific words, exercise cognitive abilities, encourage focus, and increase alertness. Brain activities can promote fun, creative, respectful, and enjoyable programs to do with your loved one. Teepa Snow, an expert in dementia, offers many programs for you to look into on her website.
- Music and Pet Therapy programs are outstanding intergenerational activities that can bring a spark to our parent’s lives. Intergenerational activities are wonderful at bringing joy and life into the lives of everyone involved. For example, if you bring a baby into a room with a group of people, all the attention will almost always turn to the baby.
- Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia affect the senses in many ways. Providing sensory rooms with smells such as lavender, soothing sounds such as a waterfall, and things to tinker with will promote purposeful engagement in your loved one’s life.
- Small group, especially one-on-one, activities that promote physical activity and spiritual health are essential to people living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. We are all on a different physical level, and when promoting exercise, it needs to be specific to their pace. Spiritual needs also should be met, whether it is relational or particular to a denomination. It is not only better for our seniors to work in small groups, but it is also beneficial to our caregivers.
Oaks Senior Living Provides social, educational, spiritual, and recreational programming to enhance our residents’ quality of life. With 24-hour staff, we are able to do around the clock activities with our residents, even those who are active at night.
Check out our Social Calendars for ideas and contact us to schedule a visit for your loved one. We would love to include them in one of our daily activities.