Alzheimer’s is a devastating illness that affects over 5 million Americans and their families. The severity of the disease varies, but the progression of Alzheimer’s leads to severe memory loss, personality changes, and difficulty with daily tasks.
The good news is there are things you can do to help reduce the progression of this debilitating disease. One way is with memory care activities that keep the brain active and engaged. Here are some examples:
A common symptom of Alzheimer’s is the loss of short-term memory. Patients with the disease can often only retain new information for a few minutes, making it difficult to track what they’re doing or where they are. This can lead to frustration and confusion when patients try to recall something that happened just moments before. It can also make them more prone to wandering off from home or other places where they feel safe.
To prevent this from happening, caregivers should do their best by keeping an eye out for their loved ones. Engaging them in activities is critical to help keep their minds active while simultaneously distracting them from their thoughts.
Exercise and Weight Loss
Exercise can be an excellent way to reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s. It helps maintain muscle mass, which is vital as your loved one loses weight due to their condition. It also improves blood flow, which allows oxygen and nutrients to reach the brain more easily.
An American Academy of Neurology study has shown that physical activity decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 50 percent in older adults. This is especially true for older adults at high risk for developing it due to age or family history. Exercise also helps people with early-stage Alzheimer’s live longer than those without regular exercise.
Music and Singing
You can also engage your loved one in music and singing. This is an excellent way for them to express themselves and enjoy quality time together. Music is often associated with happy memories from their past, so it will be easier for them to recall these moments when listening to music they used to enjoy. You can sing along or listen quietly while doing something else simultaneously, such as knitting or reading a book.
Sharing Stories and Experiences
Sharing your experiences with others is a great way to connect and create new memories. As the primary caregiver, you must share stories about your loved one’s past. For example, tell them about those trips and the vacations they enjoyed when they were younger. This can help stimulate their memory by reminding them of things they used to do together or places they’ve been in the past.
It may also benefit other family members or friends who want to help with caregiving duties by sharing some stories. Sharing stories gives them an idea of what interests your loved one most so they can engage them further during visits or phone calls.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that focuses on being aware of your surroundings and yourself. It can reduce negative emotions such as fear, anger, or sadness by helping people understand what they’re feeling without judging those feelings as good or bad.
The goal of mindfulness is not necessarily to feel happy all the time. Still, it’s about recognizing emotions when they arise. That way, you can deal with them appropriately instead of letting them cause more problems (like getting angry at someone over something small).
Volunteer in the Community Together
Volunteering is an integral part of life and can be a fantastic way to spend time with your loved one. It also allows them to interact with others and help those in need.
There are many ways to volunteer in the community together. You can help at a local soup kitchen, teach English as a second language or work with children who need tutoring. The key is to do something that allows you to make a difference in someone else’s life while spending quality time together.
When you volunteer together, you share these things with your loved one:
- You will feel part of a team working toward something important and meaningful.
- Your loved one will learn new skills and feel good about contributing their talents and abilities.
- This activity gives you something positive to focus on instead of your loved one’s dementia.
Seek Intellectual Activities
While activities that promote memory care are essential, engaging in mentally stimulating activities is also important. People with Alzheimer’s disease often experience anxiety and depression due to their condition. As such, you must find ways to reduce these symptoms by providing them with enjoyable tasks that challenge their brains.
One example would be crossword puzzles. They’re engaging without being too tricky, which means they can be done by most people regardless of their cognitive abilities at any given time. Other options include reading an article or book, playing cards or board games, completing word searches, watching TV shows or movies—the list goes on!
Spiritual well-being is a critical part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Spiritual well-being helps people connect to something bigger than themselves, whether God or nature. Many people find comfort in spirituality when they’re struggling with disease or illness. It gives them hope that there is more to life than just their physical bodies.
Spiritual activities can help reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s by providing comfort for those suffering from the disease. These activities allow them peace of mind to focus on improving instead of dwelling on their condition and becoming depressed.
We hope that you have a better understanding of the benefits of memory care activities and how they can help reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s important to note that these activities do not cure Alzheimer’s. Still, they impact the patient’s quality of life and ability to cope with their symptoms.