Once Alzheimer’s disease begins to progress, it cannot be stopped or reversed, and it’s only a matter of time before seniors lose their cognitive abilities. However, there are ways to mitigate the effects of this neurodegenerative disease.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Portland Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Here are a few strategies caregivers can implement to help seniors with Alzheimer’s manage the challenges of day-to-day life, stir memories, engage socially, and participate in creative expression.
1. Play Music
According to Live Science, Alzheimer’s destroys episodic memory, the memory that corresponds to discrete events. However, the brain retains music as procedural memory (sometimes called muscle memory), which is associated with repetition and routine. This means the part of the brain that processes music is largely immune to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, and that it’s sometimes possible to trigger memories among seniors by playing songs they remember from earlier in life.
2. Provide Simple Tasks to Accomplish
One of the most difficult challenges associated with Alzheimer’s is the loss of independence and dignity. By assigning seniors with Alzheimer’s simple, achievable tasks (light housekeeping, supervised errands, easy craft projects), caregivers can help build their confidence and foster a sense of self-sufficiency.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Portland seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
3. Take Them on Regular Outings
Seniors with Alzheimer’s should be encouraged to socialize with others. Socialization not only helps stimulate the brain and keep seniors active, but it also assists in forming emotional bonds, reducing loneliness, and promoting quality of life.
4. Engage in Brain-Training Tasks Together
The therapeutic value of brain-training activities such as memory games and pattern-finding games has been well documented. Participating in these activities can help seniors slow memory loss and retain some cognitive ability.
5. Use Lists and Labels to Facilitate Memory Retention
Lists and Post-it notes are simple tools that can make a world of difference for seniors experiencing memory loss. Labeling household items and prominently displaying instructions for regular household activities (such as turning on a television) can reduce frustration and help seniors maintain a sense of independence.
6. Encourage Creative Self-Expression
It can be difficult for seniors with Alzheimer’s to articulate their feelings about their illness, but art projects can provide a much-needed creative outlet. Drawing, painting, coloring, and collage can all enhance a senior’s ability to communicate.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Portland seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. If your loved one is diagnosed with a serious health condition and needs assistance with daily tasks, turn to Home Care Assistance at (207) 835-4849.