When a family member is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it can be a challenging and emotional journey for everyone involved. However, it’s important to remember that engaging activities can significantly enhance their quality of life and their relationships with you and other loved ones.
Memory care communities provide specialized support and offer a range of activities that stimulate thinking, encourage social interaction, and evoke positive emotions. Here are 7 meaningful activities that your loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia can enjoy in memory care.
7 meaningful activities to engage with a loved one in memory care
1. Reminiscence sessions
Reminiscing about the past can be a powerful way to engage someone living with dementia. Memory care communities often organize group sessions where participants can share stories, look at old photographs, or listen to familiar music. These activities stimulate long-term memory, promote a sense of identity, and provide opportunities for self-expression and social interaction.
2. Artistic expression
Art therapy can be a wonderful outlet for someone with dementia. Engaging in creative activities such as painting, drawing, or coloring helps them communicate and process emotions when verbal communication becomes challenging. Art therapy provides a non-judgmental environment, fostering relaxation, boosting self-esteem, and enabling a sense of accomplishment.
Music is something that connects with all of us at a very deep level. Memory care communities often arrange music therapy sessions or invite musicians to perform for residents. Listening to familiar songs or participating in sing-alongs can stimulate brain function, elevate mood, and evoke memories, promoting joy, emotional well-being, and social connection.
Check out our free ebook, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Memory Care.
4. Sensory stimulation
Engaging the senses can be incredibly beneficial for someone with dementia. Memory care communities often create sensory spaces or gardens where residents can experience various textures, scents, and sounds. These environments are designed to promote relaxation, improve focus, and evoke positive memories, providing a soothing and therapeutic experience.
5. Gentle exercise programs
Physical activity remains important for individuals with dementia. Memory care communities offer gentle exercise programs tailored to the needs of residents, including chair exercises, stretching, and modified yoga. Regular exercise improves balance, reduces anxiety, and enhances thinking, contributing to overall well-being and a sense of accomplishment.
6. Animal-assisted therapy
Interacting with animals can bring immense joy and comfort to someone with dementia. Many memory care communities incorporate pet therapy programs where residents can spend time with therapy dogs or cats. The presence of animals can reduce anxiety, increase social interaction, and evoke positive emotions, providing companionship and a sense of purpose.
7. Games and puzzles
Games and puzzles can keep someone with dementia mentally stimulated. Memory care facilities often organize game nights or provide puzzles specifically designed for individuals with dementia. Activities like word games and trivia challenge the brain, improve memory recall, and foster social engagement.
About Meaningful Moments® at Sinceri Senior Living
Sinceri Senior Living’s exclusive Meaningful Moments® memory care program is specifically designed to help meet the needs of individuals living with memory loss by helping them to bond with caregivers through an exploratory and scientifically proven approach to relationship building. We begin by discovering the life story of each individual’s likes, dislikes, and cherished memories. By adding details and preferences from each resident’s life story into their day, we can build comfort and a sense of meaning for each individual resident. The result is a familiar and family-like atmosphere for your loved one.