What Is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease characterized by a gradual decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There is no cure, but there are medications and behavioral treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.
Adults with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers have to contend with a fair amount of stress on a regular basis. That’s why it’s important to take breaks by doing fun, stimulating activities that help relieve stress, depression, and can even reduce the severity of sundowning syndrome, which is the sudden onset of behavioral and sleeping problems that start at dusk and last into the night.
Consider the following activities to help a loved one with Alzheimer’s feel grounded and engaged:
- Watch Family Videos
Select a few videos of family members to watch with your loved one. It could be a grandchild’s birthday, a memorable family vacation, or any special event that is significant to the family. Not only is watching videos fun for both parties, it can also help those with dementia remember family member’s faces.
- Fold Laundry Together
Grab a small pile of laundry and ask your loved one to help you fold it. Dementia patients feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that they have contributed to household chores. It doesn’t matter if the laundry is folded properly, all that matters is that the older adult is mentally stimulated and feels good about themselves.
- Untie Knots
Untying knots can have a strongly therapeutic effect, as it makes use of simple yet practical motor skills. Tie a few simple knots on a soft rope and have the older adult untie them. Similar to folding laundry, untying knots can help a dementia patient feel competent and build up their self-esteem.
- Make a Rummage Box
It can be very soothing for Alzheimer’s patients to reminisce. Creating a box filled with memorabilia from their past is an easy way to help them remember their previous hobbies or career. A former teacher may enjoy rummaging through a box filled with chalk, notebooks, and photos of the school they taught at. As long as all the objects are safe to handle, this is an effective way to remind a loved one with dementia about their personal identity.
- Play Their Favorite Songs
Many studies have shown that music is both exciting and comforting for adults with dementia. Make a playlist of their favorite tunes from when they were young and listen to it together. It is likely to bring back happy memories, and they may even recall where they were when they first heard the song.
Premier Medical Associates is an award-winning, multi-speciality practice serving the Greater Pittsburgh area. We are currently open for in-office visits and offering telehealth to patients with non-urgent medical issues. Your health and safety are our topmost priority, and we are taking every precaution to ensure that we operate within CDC safety guidelines. Call us today to request an appointment!