Just like all of us, seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia benefit from feeling engaged and participating in activities that allow them to be productive. Many memory care communities, like the one here at Grace Pointe Senior Care Community in Greeley, offer specialized memory care activities and entertainment to help stimulate the brain and inspire feelings of accomplishment among our residents who have a form of dementia.
According to the World Health Organization, 55 million people live with a form of dementia worldwide and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which contributes to 60-70% of all cases. Dementia disease symptoms are different in every person, but usually can affect all or various combinations of memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgment. As a result of experiencing all of these symptoms, seniors can also feel changes in mood, emotional control, behavior, or motivation.
At Grace Pointe, we have found that a memory care community with a variety of personalized activity offerings helps to inspire purpose and accomplishment among our residents. Here are some of the memory care activities and specialized support we utilize within our community to help keep our residents engaged and inspired in our facility.
Listening To Music
Music has numerous benefits for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases. In fact, music has been shown to have effects on improving understanding, mood, behavior, and communication, according to several studies by the National Library of Medicine on music intervention for Alzheimer’s disease.
At Grace Pointe, music is just one of many memory care activities our community integrates into our residents’ care plan. Here are some of the ways we utilize the sounds of music to benefit our memory care residents:
- Playing classic records or tunes on a jukebox in common areas. Having residents access the long-term memory of their brains regularly can help slow the progression of different forms of dementia.
- Hosting sing-along events of hymns, holiday songs, or school songs with residents. Even as verbal and mental abilities decline, music-related memory can remain in some residents with dementia.
- Have residents make their own music with simple percussion instruments like maracas, shakers, a piano, tambourine, etc. Having music events like this can even encourage dancing and movement, offering physical benefits as well for seniors.
As caregivers at memory care communities start to understand how the musical interests, tempo, and dynamics affect the mind and body of each resident, communication becomes easier. The benefits of music as a therapy for senior residents with dementia can be endless.
Another engaging activity commonly utilized in memory care communities for seniors, believe it or not, is watching videos. The benefits of watching videos for seniors with dementia are one of the integral forms of memory care activities that cannot be ignored. The stimulation alone through different faces, shapes, colors, and sound engages seniors’ brains on a whole new level.
At Grace Pointe, some of the best ways we have found to integrate this memory care activity are videos of familiar memories. Showing familiar locations and people transports seniors with dementia and helps to calm them. The best ways we have found to do that is through old home movies, showing old movies from the 1940s-1980s, and playing recorded historical events, like the moon landing or WWII videos.
Stimulating & Creative Activities
It’s no coincidence that you find puzzles, games, and arts and crafts centered around the common areas in almost every senior care community. In addition to watching videos for stimulation, there are many memory care activities that can help to combat boredom without a screen.
Keeping residents with dementia entertained and stimulated works to combat boredom, which can lead to increased restlessness, wandering, and anxiety. Activities such as picture puzzles, word searches, and games, providing old magazines for residents to create collages, or providing multicolored clay or play dough for them to mold into something new, help offer a creative outlet for seniors with memory issues.
Regardless of the kind of dementia, all residents want to feel like they are a part of a community or bigger purpose. So, in addition to integrating various activities personalized to each resident’s interests, group activities are also important for seniors in memory care communities. Some fun ideas are to create bingo nights, costume parties, community gardening activities, and even an event around a ‘fun holiday’ like “National Doughnut Day” or “National Puzzle Day.” The purpose is to bring everyone together toward a common goal or celebration to add excitement and belonging to a variety of residents.
Memory Care Services At Grace Pointe Senior Care Community in Greeley, Colorado
We hope this article has helped you understand how important ongoing engagement and stimulation are for senior loved ones experiencing Alzheimer’s or dementia disease symptoms. Memory care activities like music, video, and arts and crafts, need to be both personalized to their interests, yet offer them a sense of purpose to capture their interests and stimulate their minds.
At Grace Pointe, we offer specialized support for our memory care residents. From Alzheimer’s to other forms of dementia, our staff cares for the varying needs of an individual’s diagnosis. Your loved ones’ needs may become more complex as time goes on, so we provide activities designed to tap into the interests and skills of our residents through memory care activities and outings to complement the care provided to them daily.