Seniors that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease may benefit greatly from participating in regular activities. By engaging in the hobbies and actions that they are interested in, seniors with Alzheimer’s may increase the occurrence of positive emotional experiences and help to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Seniors are also less likely exhibit troubling behaviors while engaging in positive experiences. Caregivers can helps seniors with Alzheimer’s disease to participate in activities more regularly by communicating to find out what activities are of interest and by engaging in activities with seniors.
Encourage Past Skills
Most individuals enjoy engaging in activities that exercise skills that have been acquired. If a senior used to enjoy playing the guitar or another instrument, playing the instrument may help to bring back fond memories. Seniors may also be surprised that their abilities are still intact, which can help boost confidence. When engaging in these types of activities, caregivers should be sensitive to the senior’s emotions, however. If frustration is sensed, the activity should be put on hold or stopped.
There are many types of games that can help seniors with Alzheimer’s disease to improve cognitive functions and delay memory problems. Board games, computer games, and word games may help to strengthen certain mental connections. Games can also be a positive experience that helps to take seniors’ minds off of everyday issues and worries.
Assist with Exercise
Exercise can help to improve both physical and emotional health. Caregivers can help seniors engage in daily exercises such as walks around the block, range of motion exercises, and aerobics. The senior’s ability level and the stage of Alzheimer’s disease should be taken into consideration when selecting the exercise. Exercising regularly may promote the release of “feel good” hormones that help seniors to avoid becoming depressed and anxious following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Promote Simple Pleasures
Activities do not have to be complex to be effective in promoting enjoyment for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Seniors may enjoy sipping coffee in the sunlight while reading the paper, tending to a houseplant, or taking a warm bath at night. Caregivers can help seniors with Alzheimer’s to enjoy these activities more by minimizing outside distractions and ensuring that seniors are safe while engaging in the activities. Caregivers may also help by reading the paper to the elder if irritation is detected or taking care of other small considerations to make the experience more enjoyable.