Like a number of aspects of life, some innovation goes a long way in regards to providing care for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. At Home With You Senior Care, we understand how challenging it can be to fulfill the ever-changing needs inherent with dementia; on one day, the senior could feel peaceful and content, while the day after, experience heightened anxiety and agitation.
The important thing is to continue to be adaptable, and to have a range of tools and resources available to draw on depending on the individual’s particular requirements at the moment. Our Edgemere memory care experts have compiled three unique tips that may be very beneficial in lifting a senior’s mood and allowing for expression of emotions: the MAP approach.
The acronym MAP stands for three types of therapy:
The mind’s ability to hold memories related to music, even in Alzheimer’s disease, is astonishing. Music therapy could be integrated in many ways for calming, engagement, and memory stimulation. To integrate music into Alzheimer’s care, consider these tips:
- Discover which songs from the senior’s younger years spark memories, and make a playlist for the individual to enjoy. Or, use a karaoke machine for sing-alongs. As the disease advances, musical preference probably will reflect the person’s childhood memories.
- Choose upbeat, lively songs and encourage the individual to dance, according to his/her physical capability. Tapping the feet and clapping along tends to be satisfying for individuals who are less mobile.
- Play relaxing, calming music later in the day to help decrease the effects of sundowning, to reduce anxiety, as well as encourage sleep.
Art, in its various forms, is an excellent strategy for self-expression for all of us, especially those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It also provides for tactile engagement and strengthening of fine motor skills. Try several mediums to find what your loved one most enjoys: painting, drawing, coloring, working with clay, etc.
Allowing the senior to create whatever she or he wants is generally effective, but if some guidance is preferred, try discussing a story from the older adult’s past first, and then asking her or him to express the story through art.
Animals provide a sense of company and nurturing different from any other, and lots of older adults are attracted to those that remind them of past pets. Passing time simply petting or holding an animal has been shown to minimize blood pressure, stress, and anxiety, among various other benefits. During the advanced stages associated with the disease, a stuffed animal can also frequently provide feelings of comfort.
For even more innovative approaches to Alzheimer’s care, get in touch with the Edgemere memory care team at Home With You Senior Care. Our caregivers are specially trained and knowledgeable in compassionate, professional care for dementia, and provide effective management approaches for some of the more challenging aspects of the disease; for instance, wandering, agitation, sundowning, and other behaviors. Reach out via our online contact form or give us a call at 410-756-0959 for a free in-home consultation and for additional information and to find out if we offer service in your area!