Saturday, May 19, 2012

Activities For Alzheimer's Patients Promote Mental Stimulus

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that if someone has Alzheimer's they are no longer able to enjoy the activities they once liked to do. They have the impression that these folks are merely vegetables who are content to sit and while away the hours staring into space. This is definitely not a true picture of a typical Alzheimer's patient. While the person may eventually become unable to participate in even the simplest of pastimes, in the early stages of the disease their minds are active and will stay that way longer provided they have opportunities for stimulus.

No one likes to feel that there is nothing exciting left in life or believe that there's isn't anything more they can achieve in life. Like everyone else, the dementia patient still has a healthy body which likes a bit of action now and then. They also like to feel that they are contributing to their upkeep by being helpful and doing small tasks. Tailoring the jobs that they are allowed to do must be done to keep them safe. For example, a person who has enjoyed cooking their entire life may not be up to working around hot stoves and ovens, but they might still be able to wash and prepare vegetables and other cold foods. If it's something they enjoy, make a real effort to find ways for them to do so.

Dancing and music can be another enjoyable therapy for Alzheimer's patients. In the solitude of their room, you can put on soft music to soothe and comfort them. If they like to dance, make the music a bit livelier, and hit the dance floor with them.

Spending time with a favorite pet can stimulate them mentally as well as physically. Sedentary patients can be encouraged to take walks in the company of their dogs. Unfortunately, not every nursing facility can allow pets. If this is the case, make sure your loved one has opportunities to spend time with an animal in your care, or take them out to a zoo where they can see a variety of animals. Be careful to limit the animals they see to those who won't frighten them.

Games involving memory which they once played as children can be a delight. If necessary, keep the games very simple. Even games like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, or Crazy Eight can keep them entertained and thinking. You can also try simple activities, such as batting a balloon around the room, which can be a lot of fun.

Just because a person has Alzheimer's doesn't mean they want to spend their remaining years sitting docilely and doing nothing. Keeping their minds and bodies occupied can be wonderful therapy that can also extend their years of lucidity.

1 comment:

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