Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Six Wonderful Caregiver Activities For People With Dementia

By Janine Hughes

Once a family member has been diagnosed with any of a number of common mental declines, becoming a caregiver is a learning time. The stress can be equal for both patient and family. But doing activities that will allow memory making time together are wonderful. Here are six of them to try.

Though it is difficult to help people suffering from declines orient to the world, it can be done. Each person has his or her own level of ability. Facilitating helpful activities for people with dementia is often a matter of becoming intuitive concerning their needs, because they cannot always verbalize what they think or want.

One top activity to choose is listening to music. Research conducted by Dr. Gottfield Schlaug at the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory of the Harvard Medical School has shown that various kinds of brain injury may benefit from music therapy in ways previously not understood. Listening to music is shown to help develop the area of the brain responsible for creating new neural pathways after strokes. Some patients with dementia are able to sing songs learned decades earlier, even when they may not be able to speak much at all.

When stronger hands and eyes are the goal, ball tossing or rolling is excellent. Patients who are mobile enough to exercise outdoors benefit greatly from doing so. The scenery change is often enough to perk up depression. Softer, smaller balls are best, and are certainly available for bedridden patients as well. Just smoothing sheets, blankets and bedspreads can create a play area for them. It is a joy that remains from childhood, which can be accessed for happier times much later in life.

Many patients derive deep pleasure from using crayons to color pictures. This is a pastime that can be very calming, soothing, and brings memories of childhood fun. The chance to choose favorite colors allows everyone to have a feeling of control which often carries over into the rest of day, long after the art session is done.

Taking photos together allows for several wonderful results. The patient capable of holding the camera can enjoy a favorite hobby, and looking for new subjects through the lens can stimulate the brain to function. Being the subject of the photo can be delightful for anyone who loves to have their picture taken. Preserving a record of how that individual looked on that day is also important for loved ones to have as a keepsake.

A gardener can think of nothing more wonderful than digging into the warm soil and planting things. Coordinating a gardening day is a great way for getting out into the sunshine and encouraging physical movement. Eventually, the seeds that are planted will grow, being watched along the way. If the patient is not able to go outside, then bring the materials indoors to him or her and create potted plants.

Baking cookies at home is a pastime that brings back happy thoughts of pleasant times. The process of kneading dough and shaping it into the small delicious treats is very good for the hands and arms. Having the chance to decorate the baked cookies allows for artistic expression. Eating the results is a time of sharing food, which all humans crave.

About the Author:

No comments:

Post a Comment