Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be a rewarding, yet challenging experience. While it is important to meet your loved one’s physical needs, it is just as important to fulfill his or her social needs as well. Doing so can help slow the onset of cognitive decline, reduce the risk for depression and can also provide opportunities to strengthen the caregiving bond.
As a leading provider of Alzheimer’s home care in Fairfield, we’re always sharing new, fun and simple activities that family caregivers can perform with their loved ones. Here are a few of our favorite, some of which have been proven to help boost overall mood and mental acuity for seniors with Alzheimer’s.
- Scrapbooking – Going through old picture albums and sorting through recent photographs is a great way to jog an Alzheimer’s patient’s memory. Especially in the early stages, viewing photos can help trigger recall and can prompt your loved one to share their past stories. This also creates an emotional connection and can help your loved one stay engaged in the present. Take the activity one step further by scheduling a scrapbook session with your loved one, other family members and friends. Each participant can create a scrapbook page with the patient while gently reminding them of the story behind the special picture.
- Cooking – The sense of smell is a powerful memory trigger, as is the sense of taste. Plan a day in the kitchen with your aging loved one and prepare their favorite recipes from the past whether it’s one of their famous concoctions or simple baked goods such as cookies or pie. With the proper supervision, they can assist with some of the simpler tasks which can instill a sense of independence, self-esteem and involvement.
- Gardening – Gardening is an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by individuals of any skill or cognition level thanks to numerous adaptive tools such as raised gardening beds, add-on grips and handles, long-reach hand tools and so much more. It is a great pastime for seniors living with Alzheimer’s, providing a mentally stimulating activity that can be enjoyed in the sunshine. Recent research has also shown that time spent in a garden can also help to relieve some of the more common symptoms of Alzheimer’s including anxiety and depression.
With Alzheimer’s patients, small efforts can bring wonderful payback: fleeting smiles, short conversations and priceless memories. For more information about Alzheimer’s home care for an aging parent or loved one, visit our website at www.homecareassistancefairfield.com or contact a Care Manager directly at 203-955-1915 – we’re available 24/7 to answer your questions.