Ten effective memory care activities for seniors

Ten effective memory care activities that keep residents connected

Are you caring for a loved one with dementia and are in the pursuit of fun cognitive health activities? We have just the thing for you. Every year, there are approximately 10 million new dementia diagnoses, pushing us to the brink of a crisis. Dementia leads to confusion and wandering, and compromises an individual’s ability to safeguard their own safety. As one of the most experienced cognitive care assisted living communities, we’ve rounded up 10 cognitive health activities from our time as a provider that are sure to come in handy. Take a look. 

  • Knitting 

When fine motor skills take a hit, knitting is a great way to build them up once more. As this activity requires the coordination between hands and brain, it’s great at nurturing skills such as: 

  • Hand strength 
  • Dexterity
  • Grip 

Knitting is not just great for delaying dementia, research finds that it can also help with chronic pain. That’s primarily because it diverges focus and boosts endorphin levels and happiness, more so when knitting with a group.  

  • Singing 

There’s no better way to let off some steam than through singing. But besides providing an outlet for pent-up emotion, singing is also great at improving short-term memory for persons with dementia. 

Further research also links singing and music to various behavioral and emotional improvements such as: 

  • Better pain relief
  • Boosts in confidence
  • Better fitness

At our center for Alzheimer’s care near me, we implore the power of music to also build a sense of community. 

  • Solving puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles and tricky challenges such as Sudoku give the brain the mental workout it needs to keep in shape. When seniors in memory care communities near me join hands to work on puzzles, it provides stimulation as well as bonding opportunities

Custom photo puzzles in particular are thought to be particularly effective at nurturing problem-solving skills and speed of thought, which helps seniors manage their day-to-day with a lot less help. 

  • Cooking 

You may have reservations about letting a loved one near a flame when they have memory challenges, but this full-sensory activity has much to offer as follows: 

  • It improves recollection as we often link certain tastes or smells to memories
  • As a tactile activity, it brings both hands and eye into the fold thus improving mental focus
  • Cooking can be a relaxing safe space for seniors 

Cooking can be highly rewarding for seniors with dementia, and it can trigger their urge to socialize. Cooking activities must be supervised at all times.

  • Walking 

When an elderly person has dementia, it doesn’t mean that they have to be cooped up indoors all day. Some fresh air can work wonders for a failing mind, so prioritize walks with your loved one around your neighborhood or garden. Anywhere peaceful and safe, away from loud noises and other triggers, will be of great help.. 

At our community for memory care near me, we offer tons of safe outdoor activities like excursions and day trips so seniors also get the chance to stretch both mind and body.

  • Sorting challenges

Memory recall might not be the best when one has dementia. But there are plenty of ways to work at it, some of which involve simple yet effective sorting challenges such as: 

  • Separating bolts and nuts
  • Sorting objects by color or size
  • Playing cards according to a color

These are but a few examples of the ton of everyday items you can use for enjoyable sorting challenges with your loved one. Of course, as with all other activities on our list, the more people take part, the merrier. 

  • Photo albums

Crack open the photo album, and flip through the pages as your loved one explains the steps down memory lane. Don’t fret if your loved one doesn’t recall every single detail, just treasure the story and also help to fill in the gaps as well. 

This activity can be comforting for struggling seniors, more so when it comes to easing the social isolation they often feel due to their condition. It’s also great at relieving depression and bolstering recollection abilities.  

  • Folding towels

Have a few towels or laundry that needs folding? Let your senior with memory loss in on the fun. This is no mere chore to get out of the way and be done with it. Folding towels can ease the agitation that comes with Alzheimer’s, and offers the following upsides as well: 

  • Increased satisfaction from contributing to the household. 
  • Improved dexterity and hand-eye coordination
  • Greater attention spans
  • Untying knots

If you look up memory care centers near me, we bet you’ll see a ton of them use knot challenges for their Alzheimer’s residents. It’s not a coincidence. Tying and untying knots builds your loved one’s self-esteem, and can also uplift: 

  • Long-task concentration abilities
  • Spatial awareness

If your loved one is having a hard time untying the knots, tie them up more loosely so you don’t frustrate them. On the other hand, don’t make things too easy to ensure it holds up as a rewarding challenge. 

  • Read together

Studies show daily reading pushes dementia further away. If your family member is experiencing cognitive decline, reading can slow this down. Be sure to read together and steer clear of topics that can get them riled up. Instead, lean more toward books, magazines, newspapers, and other reading materials that bring a smile to their face.   

If your loved one prefers to do the reading without help, you could sign them up for a book club so that they don’t read in isolation, but benefit from the challenges of group study.  

Lantern Lifestyle offers short & long-term memory care

We’re here to help. Caring for a loved one with memory loss problems can be tough. If you need a helping hand to lighten the load, our memory day care for seniors can keep your loved one safe as you work through the day. For more long-term solutions, we also offer bespoke solutions for memory care assisted senior living to meet your loved one’s unique needs. Call us today to make it happen and stay tuned to our blog for more insightful senior care tips.

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