Alzheimer’s and dementia patients deserve to live their fullest lives regardless of the illnesses they live with. This is one of the primary goals of memory care units: to maximize residents’ quality of life.
As structure and routine are some of the most critical aspects of an effective memory care regimen, scheduling these activities is of the utmost importance. However, it can be challenging for memory care units to schedule activities that enhance memory care while simultaneously enriching the lives of residents living with dementia. Fortunately, there are many activities that can achieve both goals.
This resource will inspire you with the best memory care activities that will bring fulfillment to residents.
Arts and Crafts
For residents living with dementia, arts and crafts activities offer incredible value. Art alone is something that most residents will enjoy regardless of whether they are creating or viewing it. Arts and craft activities can also be modified to accommodate different dexterity levels and abilities so that even those who may feel isolated by their abilities can participate.
Art is also an activity that engages multiple senses at once, which can improve cognitive function. Moreover, memory care staff members and residents benefit from arts and craft activities. Resident participation and resulting happiness can provide fulfillment for carers and the residents themselves.
Music has an incredible transcendental quality about it. It’s something that anyone can enjoy. Memory care units can leverage music’s unique power to improve the lives of their residents. Music therapy can enhance cognitive function, reduce disturbances, and improve mood in patients living with dementia.
Patients can listen, dance to, create, or sing music as a part of their music therapy. This opens the door for patients of all abilities to enjoy and benefit from the activity.
Bingo has it all. Excitement, intrigue, and fun prizes. Better yet, bingo can improve cognitive performance, which is a crucial aspect of memory care. Stereotype aside, bingo is a genuinely fun and stimulating activity that memory care residents will enjoy.
However, scheduling bingo during the COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging and stressful. We’ve put together some guides to help your staff of carers and residents get the most out of your next bingo tournament. Check them out below:
Reading Books or Listening to Audiobooks
Due to diminished cognitive function, many residents with dementia cannot enjoy things that they once had. Even a resident who used to devour books may come to find them overwhelming and impossible to enjoy as the degenerative effects of the disease progress. However, the joy of reading is never truly lost. Moreover, it can combat the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Authors and memory care experts alike have written books specifically for memory care patients. These books provide mental stimulation, are not insultingly simple, and tell a pretty good story! This list of books designed for adults with dementiaand memory problems can help you add to your unit’s library.
Additionally, there is benefit to listening to audiobooks as well, which can be enjoyed regardless of diminishing eyesight, can minimize the feelings of loneliness and also allow multi-tasking. Of course, being able to hear the audiobook is of the utmost importance.
Tend a Garden
There are a plethora of benefits to tending a garden for memory care patients. The visually pleasing beauty of gardens takes hard work to create. Residents can enjoy the physical activity of planting, pulling up weeds, and watering plants. It’s essentially a workout in disguise.
The emotional and mood benefits of tending a garden should also be taken into consideration. It’s a meaningful activity. Whether it’s a solitary or group exercise, gardening provides dementia patients with a quiet, safe space to reflect and think. Additionally, the gorgeous colors, thrill of new growth, and stress relief aspects of gardening make it the perfect memory care residents’ activity.
Take a Walk Outside
Many memory care patients take to pacing or walking short distances. Scheduling an outdoor walk as an activity for the day can give residents a chance to exercise, get some fresh air, experience a change of scenery, and soak up some vitamin D through sun exposure.
Moreover, it can provide a safe outlet for those residents that experience frustration over an inability to complete a walk due to memory inconsistencies.
As many Alzheimer’s patients can experience challenges with walking, an outdoor excursion assisted by a wheelchair allows those patients to participate in the walk and reap the benefits of outdoor activities.
Reminisce about Their Life
Memory care patients can feel increasingly disconnected from themselves as their memory and cognitive function deteriorates. Giving patients the time and support to perform life story work can help to preserve their memories, whether by book, video, picture, or audio formats.
Memory care staff should be encouraged to engage in reminiscence with dementia patients. Not only will this helps to forge beneficial interpersonal connections between carers and residents, but it will also give residents a chance to tell their life stories as they recall them.
Activities are Enhanced When You Hear Better
According to the CDC, the number of patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s is expected to almost triple to 14 million individuals by 2060 and has steadily increased in recent years. Unfortunately, many assisted living facilities are unequipped to handle this rise. However, recent technological advances could make the transition easier, as they help to treat the effects of memory loss and dementia.
One of these effects is hearing loss, which has a high prevalence among 65 or older individuals. Advanced headphone technology puts the power back into resident hands when it comes to memory care. Headphones with Bluetooth capabilities can help residents connect with their friends and loved ones to reduce isolation. Additionally, residents can use noise-canceling features to block out extraneous noises and focus on what’s important in the moment.
Eversound’s headphone solution achieves all this and more. With Eversound, residents can stay engaged and connected in a way that had been impossible before. Simply connect Eversound to a physical audio output and broadcast to all headphones within a 300-foot radius.
Eversound has worked with facilities like Silverado Memory Care and Bridges by Epoch to have a positive impact on resident life.
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