Individuals who have dementia experience a loss of cognitive functioning, which affects their thinking, remembering, and reasoning abilities. This can in turn affect their behavioral and emotional control, interfering with their daily lives in many cases. As it could lead to psychological effects such as depression or anxiety, continual treatment of dementia through memory care activities and medication is paramount.
What are Memory Care Activities?
Memory care activities are those which provide structure while fitting to each individual’s interests and backgrounds to increase their likelihood of involvement and emotional engagement. They also aim to encourage dementia patients to think about their past memories.
Typical memory care activities include ones from thinking games to social activities. Physical tasks such as gardening and baking can also help in slowing down one’s cognitive decline.
Other memory care activities include:
- Drawing or painting sessions
- Organization tasks involving sorting
- Board games and Puzzles
- Movement and Music Sessions
- Cooking lessons
How Memory Care Activities Help Treat Dementia
Communication difficulties and behavioural problems, social isolation, anxiety and a number of other problems that may be associated with dementia, can be reduced when one is able to participate in enjoyable and creative activities on a regular basis, within a structured daily programme.
Activities that focus on concentration, memory, and thinking can stimulate and benefit those with early to middle stages of dementia best cognitively.
According to a series of 15 studies conducted by The Cochrane Collaboration, over 700 patients patients with mild to moderate dementia such Alzheimer’s disease showed positive changes in communication and social interaction after being introduced to structured group activities designed to stimulate cognition.
These activities included games like show-and-tell using different objects, baking, and drawing. They were targeted at improving concentration, memory, and thinking abilities. Each session was conducted 5 times a week, and lasted between 1 and 1.5 hours. Participants experienced and overall improvement in their performance of cognitive function tests following this, showing how important memory care activities are to treat early-stage dementia.
Apart from the cognitive benefits, emotional outcomes of dementia such as depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation can be reduced or minimised when participants engage in structured, interesting and creative activities regularly. The benefits are even greater if you have prior interest or experience in these activities.
Environments that Facilitate Memory Care
While loved ones are encouraged to engage with family members who have dementia through memory care activities, it is ideal if you engage health and social care specialists who are trained in conducting the sessions.
These specialists often provide their services in memory care communities where individualised programmes are tailored to meet you or your loved one’s needs. One such programme is the Shine Memory Programme, which has been awarded a national Certificate of Recognition by the Alzheimer’s Association, the nation’s most prominent institution specializing in research and care for Alzheimer’s.
A fun-loving, social environment with various amenities to stimulate patients daily is also ideal in facilitating recovery from dementia. Start on your dementia care journey today by practicing memory care activities in an encouraging environment!