As your loved one’s memory impairment increases, it may be harder to keep them engaged and activity. However, a lack of stimulation can easily lead to social isolation, agitation, and even aggression in the calmest, sweetest people. Our minds ache to be stimulated and everyone gets bored when they are not. If you have a loved one who lives in a memory care assisted living facility, the staff already has activities to engage each patient in, but perhaps you have been feeling like your visits are lacking. We have compiled a list of activities you can participate in with your loved one to keep them stimulated during your visits — quality time is the best time!
Music is soothing to just about everyone! If the memory care facility your loved one lives at has a piano, encourage anyone who know how to play it, to play. If you or no one readily available know how to play, you can always play the radio or bring a boom box and some of their favorite artist’s CDs. If your loved one plays an instrument or sings, encourage them to, or play and sing along with them. Leave music to be played to calm them. Even when they can no longer remember the words, music they used to enjoy can be very comforting.
Bring along one of their photo albums and have them tell you about the pictures. If they are at the point that remembering the past or people is difficult, label the pictures and help them tell the stories. If their cognitive impairment has progressed to where they get anxious or agitated attempting to remember, make a scrapbook of photos of things that your loved one enjoys — children, flowers, animals, boats. The photos can be cut from magazines or the like. Let them flip through the pictures and encourage them to tell you about them.
If the memory care facility allows, bring your dog or cat to visit, if your loved one loves animals. Animal visits are therapeutic because animals do not require discussions to snuggle and share their love. If you don’t have an animal, you can contact an agency that has therapy animals to come visit. If your loved one is allergic or the facility doesn’t allow animals, you can bring a stuffed animal — there are even ones that simulate breathing and tail wagging!
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are engaging and fun for any age! Depending on your loved ones hobbies and level of cognitive impairment will dictate the craft you do. If your loved one enjoyed knitting or model building, bring some supplies and allow them to create something. Painting is always a good option, whether on canvas or finger painting on butcher paper. Holiday specific crafts are available at craft stores and usually include patterns to make decorations that include pipe cleaners and pom-poms.
During your visits, you can try a variety of activities and even leave behind the products for your loved one to enjoy in your absence. Be sure that the assisted living facility they live at includes a variety of activities and ways to keep your loved one engaged. If you are looking for superior memory care in an assisted living facility, check out Pine Hills Retirement Community. We offer many top-notch amenities and activities in addition to world-class medical care. Keep your loved one active despite memory impairment caused by progressing dementia or Alzheimer’s. Call us or stop by for a tour today!