Struggling with memory loss is hard on both the person suffering and their entire family. Watching your spouse, parent, sibling, or friend forget details of the past can feel like a helpless situation. Luckily, there are activities you can use to slow the progression of memory loss. Although memory care activities are very helpful for those struggling with Alzheimer’s and dementia, anyone can benefit from games and hobbies that keep the mind sharp. Engaging in these activities will also help you create memories with your loved one because of the quality time they require.
Memory Care Activities
Music and Memories
Music therapy is a helpful tool for slowing the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s, but the earlier it is started, the better (source). Playing music from the past can bring back old memories, and you can even create musical games. For example, if your loved one is suffering from memory loss, play or hum familiar songs. Then, ask them to name the song. If a person struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s used to play a musical instrument, such as the piano, encouraging them to pick up the hobby again is also helpful.
Practice Simple Chores
Chances are, housekeeping duties like doing dishes, making the bed, folding laundry, and dusting are all chores that your family member or friend has done numerous times in their life. These simple acts are helpful in keeping the mind active and focused on a task, which can ease anxiety and confusion. In addition, these chores exercise muscle memory, which is “the ability to repeat a specific muscular movement with improved efficiency and accuracy that is acquired through practice and repetition” (source).
In addition, cooking is a household duty often associated with many memories. The act of preparing and indulging in meals can help you and your loved one remember past times spent together. This activity is best for those who are in the early or middle stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Start with simple tasks, like peeling potatoes and making simple food like pancakes. Try making your favorite meals together; even the taste of the food can strike up fond memories. However, keep in mind that a person’s sense of taste and sense of smell can be affected by Alzheimer’s (source).
Stay Mentally Active
Keeping your brain active can prevent cognitive decline. This is why it is important to engage in brain-stimulating activities before memory loss occurs and during its initial stages. There are many different activity books that are made specifically for those who are struggling with memory loss, and books for those who are trying to prevent it by stimulating their brain. Other ways to keep your mind sharp include socializing regularly, taking alternative routes when going somewhere, organizing your home, learning a new language or skill, and volunteering. Consider hosting a book club or weekly game night to help both you and your friends stay mentally active.
These memory care activities can help those who are struggling with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and keeping your own mind active could lower your chances of suffering from memory loss. By practicing simple activities such as music therapy, cooking, cleaning, and doing crossword puzzles, you are investing in the health of your mind.
Are you looking for a place to retire in the heart of downtown Greenville, South Carolina? Waterstone on Augusta specializes in memory care activities and offers ways for residents to connect with one another. It is our goal to create a home-like setting for you, and our unique community design, combined with our friendly staff, will give you an unmatched quality of life and care. To learn more about what sets Waterstone on Augusta apart, give us a call at 864-605-7236 or schedule a tour. We look forward to meeting you and showing you what makes our community so special.