Activities for Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease

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With one person in the United States developing Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds, odds are good that you know someone affected by the disease. You also probably know the pain, heartache and stress that come with having the disease or caregiving for a loved one with memory loss. But what if you could do something today to relieve some of that anxiety and depression? The good news is that you can! There are a variety of activities you can do with your loved ones that improve their mood and memory.

Depending on your loved ones hobbies and pastimes, plan an activity around one of the following topics perfect for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Music – Stevie Wonder once said, “Music, at its essence, is what give us memories. And the longer a song has existed in our lives, the more memories we have of it.” Take his advice and play popular songs from your loves ones’ lifetime to stir up past memories. If one genre or time period doesn’t work, try another! If they do work, still try another! With more musical eras come more memories to share.

Gardening – This allows people with memory loss to partake in a possibly familiar, simple and repetitive activity with a meaningful objective – producing delicious, fresh vegetables or beautiful, sweet-smelling flowers!

Art – Creativity is one of the later areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s. It’s important to continue to stimulate this area through creative expression. Making art may evoke past memories or act as a medium to describe current feelings and views. Observing art allows those with Alzheimer’s the opportunity to take in color, shape and stories that may not translate via literature.

Exercise – Physical activity is good for the body, mind and well being of anyone, regardless of their state of health. By engaging with your loved ones through exercise, you address core desires for physical movement and positively affect a variety of health factors.

Pets – Unconditional love offered by pets is often coupled with various health benefits, including lowered blood pressure and heart rate, reduced cortisol and increased serotonin. If your loved ones with dementia enjoyed animals pre-diagnosis, a furry friend now may produce fond memories, and at the very least, will put a smile on their faces.

RELATED: 10 Tips for Caring for Parents with Memory Loss

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