Everyone strives hard in their younger years to rest comfortably and achieve a quality life in their golden years. But of course, many factors can hinder this as aging ultimately comes with its fair share of consequences.
One such example is a chronic cognitive impairment disease called dementia. Dementia can significantly change a person’s life and drastically interfere with their supposed to be normal lives.
Dementia and its other forms inflict memory loss to seniors and many physical and behavioral changes that make it more challenging to have a quality life. However, it is not impossible.
Older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may lose some of their abilities, but they CAN still enjoy a long, fulfilling, satisfying life. One way to do that is to get them to the best memory care in Clinton Township to start getting the proper treatment and therapies your loved one deserves.
Here are other ways to improve the quality of life of senior patients, residents, and loved ones residing in memory care.
1. Continue the Physical Activities
Staying active is an integral part of life, whatever stage you may currently be at. But it becomes more essential as one grows older and while battling a disease like dementia.
Studies show that physical fitness benefits seniors with dementia by helping them retain their independence and easily do their everyday tasks.
Furthermore, its health benefits even extend further than the physical level. Some examples of its advantages to seniors with dementia include:
- Improves cognitive performance by increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients in the brain.
- Gives plenty of opportunity for social participation.
- Enhances their sleep quality and helps manage their symptoms throughout the day.
- Develops self-esteem and self-confidence.
But before introducing any fitness regime to your loved one, make sure to get the consent or approval of their doctor first.
2. Promote Proper Nutrition
Mealtimes are much harder for older adults with dementia as most of them lose the ability to eat independently or have a hard time choosing what food to eat. But there are plenty of ways to make mealtimes easier so seniors can get the proper nutrition they need.
For starters, you or their caregiver should provide a relaxed atmosphere during eating times. Additionally, make sure that the dining area is well-lit, quiet, and free from distractions.
Prepare healthy meals based on the specific foods that your senior likes and ensure that they’re easy to chew and swallow. You can also join them during mealtimes to feel more like a social activity and less like a task.
3. Encourage Social Participation
Social interactions with fellow seniors, family members, caregivers, and staff bring a positive impact to the quality of life of elderlies with dementia. In addition, it encourages seniors to practice their speech and cognitive abilities, foster communication, and enhance social skills.
Furthermore, social engagements prevent the mental struggles that are usually experienced by seniors with dementia. This includes loneliness, depression, and anxiety disorder.
Here are some tips on how you can facilitate a safe and calm space for social interaction in the best memory care in Clinton Township.
- Give the senior a heads up on who is going to visit them. It would be better to engage them first with familiar faces regularly before introducing other people.
- Limit the number of persons to a minimum to avoid overwhelming your senior.
- Schedule their social interactions during the best time of the day where the senior is most relaxed.
4. Engage in Meaningful Activities and Hobbies
Another way to expose your loved one to social interactions is by encouraging meaningful activities and hobbies. Talk to them about the idea of joining social activities that they might be interested in, which can also have tons of health benefits for them. Some meaningful activities to take on include:
- Joining a book club, knitting or sewing club, and gardening.
- Volunteering or charity works
- Fitness classes and gentle exercises (e.g., yoga, tai chi, and water aerobics)
- Low-impact sports like bowling
- Participating in game nights or happy hours
These activities will allow your loved one or patient to bring back their old passion for their hobbies, which can eventually help renew their purpose in life.
5. Try Different Therapeutic Techniques
Drug medications are not the only remedy to manage the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Many holistic therapeutic practices also exist that can help improve health and slow down cognitive impairment in seniors. This includes:
- Music therapy wherein elders will listen to music or sing songs to enhance their emotional and behavioral health.
- Art therapy lets seniors engage in arts and crafts projects to promote brain stimulation and curb cognitive decline.
- Reminiscent therapy helps seniors remember vital memories using old photographs, family videos, souvenirs, valuable objects, and audio recordings.
- Pet therapy aids older adults in relaxing their minds during stressful situations. Plus, it is a great way to increase physical activity while also having a cute, emotional support fur friend.
Other alternative treatments to try include spiritual care, laughter yoga, and aromatherapy一all of which can improve the quality of life for seniors.
Additionally, these complementary therapies exist mainly to address the mental, emotional, and social struggles experienced by seniors with dementia cognitive impairment.
6. Establish Good Communication
An open and respectful communication line between senior patients and their loved ones or caregivers is definitely a significant ingredient in achieving a quality life. So make sure to find creative ways to communicate with your loved one better, in words or actions.
Simple gestures like speaking directly to them or giving them time to communicate what they want to say can mean so much and can help build a senior’s trust and confidence. Plus, good communication opens up several doors that definitely lead to the highest quality of life.
Dementia may limit one’s abilities but certainly not their chance to live a long, satisfying, and fulfilling life inside the best memory care in Clinton Township.
The key is to work together with your patient or loved one, so they can, again, find joy and hope despite their health condition.