Dementia impairs memory, thinking, and behavior. Its most common form, Alzheimer’s, is diagnosed in 50-80% of all dementia cases. It may start out mildly at first, where one has trouble recounting names or can’t remember simple things. Once diagnosed, dementia will worsen over time, and people who have it will, inevitably, look to restrict their activities, turning in on themselves.
The good news is that there are ways to make connections and keep memories alive. Through affordable homecare in Paradise Valley, anyone with dementia can be given the support that they need from a professional qualified, compassionate caregiver.
Take advantage of activities that you or a caring senior service can provide for your loved one. There are many things you can do to stimulate their conversations and activities during the day. Here’s a list of things that you can do with dementia patients to provide them with assistance in keeping memories. Keep in mind, some activities work better at different times of the day.
Go through family videos and photos. People with dementia often retain long-term memory best, and will make connections to people and pictures from long ago.
Sing old songs. Anything they remember or love, from their childhood or church, may spark memories they will share with you.
Go on a nature walk. Besides being relaxing, there is much to see and to smell. Listen for the birds and enjoy your time together walking through the sunshine.
Read out loud. If your loved one has a favorite book or magazines they love, pick out articles and read them out loud. Try poems, as the fluid cadences seem to work well with dementia patients.
Watch old movies or TV shows. Did your parents enjoy the old black-and-white movies from the 1930s and ’40s? How about TV Westerns from the 1950s? Turn on and enjoy any family show that was a favorite; you can catch many of them on television these days.
Talk about childhood toys. Things such as erector sets, Lincoln logs, kewpie dolls, marbles, and sock monkeys may elicit memories for these things and what they meant long ago. You may even have a few of these yourself. If not, many are available for purchase.
Look through old cookbooks. Take out treasured recipes and talk about them. Why were they so special and what are the memories surrounding them? You’ll be amazed at how many of these old memories will spark conversation.
Loved ones may change over time through dementia, but they are still that loving person you remember. Home care resources can make all the difference in supporting you and your family member in dealing with the challenges of dementia.