Alzheimer's and Dementia: Stimulation
One of the most frustrating things for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s is often the lack of stimulation and boredom. It’s important to provide activities that are both engaging and enjoyable for those battling these brain disorders.
EXERCISE AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - Exercise and physical activity can help regulate sleep and prevent restlessness and sleeplessness in the evening. It can also help your loved one to maintain a positive mood, and lower the risk of developing depression.
Activities to consider: walking around the neighborhood or local park; fishing; water aerobics; exploring nature.
ANIMAL THERAPY - Pets have been shown to relieve stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety, but they can also provide a sensory experience for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Animal or pet therapy can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and boost levels of the feel-good hormone, serotonin
Activities to consider: invite over a friend or family member that has a well behaved pet; take your loved one to visit a local animal shelter or a petting zoo; research local animal therapy programs.
MUSIC THERAPY - Music can both soothe and stimulate people, as well as elicit powerful emotional responses, and also help people reconnect with memories. Nostalgia can also be a great way to help your loved one connect with their past
Activities to consider: listen to their favorite band or singer together; create a playlist of their favorite music; show them videos of live performances.
ARTS & CRAFTS - Many people with Alzheimer’s and dementia benefit from a wide range of sensory stimulation through arts and crafts, even if they were never particularly creative before the disorder
Activities to consider: painting; knitting; adult coloring books; scrapbooking.