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6 Surprising Activities to Improve Memory With Dementia Patients

Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases not only affect the thinking, functional, reasoning, and physical abilities, but also memory. Being a caregiver of a dementia patient is very challenging. This disease not only changes the overall personality of the patient, but it also takes the physical and emotional health of the caregiver on a toss.

To date, this disease does not have any cure. However, the progression of the disease can be slowed down by adhering to the doctor’s prescription and bringing change in the lifestyle of the patient.

Studies have shown that involving patients in various kinds of activities and games can be very helpful in improving the memory of dementia patients. In addition to this, it would also help in improving their physical and functional abilities. Keeping dementia patients engaged can also help in reducing sleep-related and other mental issues as well.

In this article, we have discussed 6 simple activities to improve memory of dementia patients.

Yoga

Anxiety and stress are very common among Alzheimer’s patients. When it comes to calming and relaxing the body and mind, what could be better than yoga? Yoga helps in improving the overall well-being of an individual. 15-30 minutes of yoga /day can keep the mind healthy and active.

Researches have shown that regular yoga slows the shrinking of the hippocampus, thus improving the memory. Hippocampus is the brain’s part which is associated with memory and learning. Yoga also helps in improving the emotional and physical health of dementia patients. In case, the patient attends a yoga class it would further help in keeping the patient socially active.

Learning or Listening Music

Another activity that could improve memory in dementia patients is music. Music is known for its therapeutic effects. Music is known to be very effective in triggering old memories. So, try creating a playlist of the patient’s favorite songs. Music is also a good way to keep an individual busy. You can even play the same songs for different tasks. This would further help the patient in correlating specific songs with a specific task.

Learning music is very effective in improving memory in dementia patients. Learning music involves both left and right sides of the brain. While playing an instrument or singing a song, an individual needs to memorize the song, instrument’s nodes, etc. this enhances and improves the memory power. An individual can take "music lessons" either at home or by joining a class.

Games:

Engaging dementia patients in simple games is an easy and fun way to keep them occupied. Playing games is considered one of the best mental exercises for dementia patients. Some of the games are listed below:
  • Play a Card Matching Game: Simple card games like memory and Go Fish are an excellent way to stimulate the brain. If you want to add a personal touch then you can get cards with photos of the family members. This can further help in triggering personal memories.
  • Give Bingo a Try. Bingo is an ideal game for seniors suffering from dementia. The game needs participants to match colors, shapes, numbers, or letters. It helps in improving cognitive skills. In addition to this, the need to mark the number as they are called further helps dementia patients in improving their motor skills.
  • Brain-training Computer Games. Numerous brain games are available on computers as well as smartphones. Start with an easy and simple brain game.
  • Do a Puzzle Together. Solving puzzles is a very good exercise for the brain. Puzzles are not only fun-filled and engaging but also help in boosting confidence in dementia patients. Puzzles can be a jigsaw, crossword, search word, or even sudoku. The aim is to keep the mind engaged and active.
  • Try a Board Game. Simple calculations like addition and subtraction can be quite challenging for a dementia patient. Playing board games involves rolling dice and moving on the board accordingly. Thus simple games like Ludo, snakes, and ladders, etc. can help in improving the patient’s calculation.

Gardening

elderly woman gardening with medical alert pendantA garden full of flowers and greens is a blessing for everyone. Nurturing a garden would help in creating a calm and stress-free environment. This would further help the dementia patient in overcoming numerous mental discomforts. Engage the patient in light and easy gardening jobs like watering plants, planting new seeds in pots, etc. for any kind of heavy work hiring someone would be more appropriate.

You can rest easy knowing your loved one can get help if they need it while gardening, as our medical alert system buttons have a range of up to 1,000 feet away from the base console. And cellular GPS medical alert systems can track their location anywhere in the USA.

Baking, and Making and Eating a Special Family Recipe Together

Food-related activities are also found to be highly beneficial for improving memory in dementia patients. Aroma and taste of some dishes can trigger memories in individuals. Cooking activities including preparing or eating special family recipes with near and dear ones can help improve memory.
Also, preparing your own meals regularly can help you consume a healthy diet which is essential for keeping your mind and body healthy.

Creating a Scrapbook

If you are a caretaker, you can engage Alzheimer’s patients in creating a scrapbook. Paste pictures of family members, friends, and special events of his/her life in the scrapbook. You can show the scrapbook to the individual in the free time or when he/she doesn’t want to go anywhere. It would not only stimulate their memory but would keep their mind relaxed.


About The Author
Curtis Dean writes on behalf of Sage Music School where they base lessons on the science and research of the psychology of learning. Their effective teaching methods create confident and capable students who enjoy the happiness of making music.