Activities and Exercises Top Memory Care Facilities Use to Help Those with Dementia

Dementia-related diseases are particularly cruel.

They rob those you love of the very essence of their memories, blocking remembrance of the most treasured events in their lives.

You may be surprised to learn that around 5.7 million Americans struggle with some form of dementia. Among those, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the cases.

These numbers are expected to rise. By 2050, researchers predict that there will be 13.8 million living with Alzheimer’s-related dementia. This means more memory care assisted living will be needed.

For residents at Cedar Cove, we have 28 beds dedicated to Memory Care, which helps those with all forms of dementia.

What Is Memory Care?

The best memory care centers focus on providing a stimulating, safe, yet peaceful environment for those with all forms of dementia-related disorders. Specially trained staff supervise residents, providing specific care that targets their overall mental wellness.

We’ll take a look at some of the mental exercises memory care facilities, like those at Cedar Cove, use to help these residents.

Memory Care Living: Exercises for the Brain

To understand how these exercises help the brain, it helps to take a look at the causes of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

What causes dementia?

While Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, there are actually several different types, each grouped by the factors they have in common.

These diseases target the nerve cell connections in the brain. Dementia damages them and, depending upon the part of the brain that’s affected, causes different symptoms.

Of course, scientists are still conducting extensive research to fully understand the causes of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. They believe it may be influenced by:

  • Age-related changes in the brain
  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors
  • Lifestyle

It’s important to note that age in itself does not cause dementia, but it is the most common risk factor.

How Memory Care Living Activities Help Those With Dementia

should I tour a memory care facilityThere is much more to memory care than simply having “brain games” dedicated to strengthening recall. In many ways, memory care focuses on re-establishing connections with things that were familiar and loved.

The key is to focus on the whole person instead of concentrating on their condition.

Some of these include:

  • Establishing consistent routines

This can be a huge help. We often take for granted simple activities like getting dressed and bathed so we can get to work on time. By establishing consistent routines, those in memory care can have an anchor that connects them to the tasks of daily living.

  • Matching people with activities

The key to quality memory care is establishing activities that are appropriate to each individual. This is necessary in order to effectively engage them.

For example, if someone in memory care used to have a garden, the memory care specialist may offer simple activities related to planting seeds. If that is not possible, then the resident can benefit from looking at pictures of a garden or smelling flowers that came from a flower bed.

  • Listening to music

Often, those with dementia or Alzheimer’s may become agitated, and listening to music has a soothing effect. In some cases, it’s even beneficial to play the music that was popular when they were young. This can stir positive memories.

  • Reconnecting with older roles

If the resident enjoyed cooking large family meals, helping them make a simple dish will enable them to reconnect with familiar tasks. This can provide encouragement and foster a sense of responsibility.

  • Playing games

While there’s much more to memory care than brain games, the bottom line is that activities such as crossword puzzles, memory games or bingo can help exercise connections in the brain. As a result, the residents are more engaged in the environment and those around them.

Why Are These Activities Important for Those with Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias?

Why do we concentrate on providing these experiences for our residents?

Because they are essential in providing the best environment possible. Not only do they encourage self-expression, but they also help residents form meaningful connections.

Often, dementia can cause agitation and irritability. Activities such as listening to music have a soothing and calming effect on these residents, which is why we encourage their participation.

Cedar Cove Offers Specialized Memory Care Units

It’s devastating when mom, dad or your grandparents don’t recognize who you are. It’s heartbreaking when they are no longer able to remember how to perform simple tasks.

We understand, and that’s why we have a staff that concentrates solely on the needs of those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The key is to provide a safe place where residents can form connections to the world around them. It’s important that they are in a stimulating environment that is also relaxing.

We’d love to talk to you more about our Memory Care. We encourage you to call us today for more information because our spaces fill quickly.