Games and activities designed to stimulate cognitive abilities have been proven to be useful in slowing the effects of dementia. Experts report that pastimes that engage cognitive abilities also improve the patient’s psychological well-being, socialization and overall quality of life. Best of all, games, puzzles and other mind-stimulating activities can bring a missing ingredient back into the life of an aging loved one with dementia: fun.
Do you have an aging parent, grandparent or loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia? Learn about specialty care for seniors in Scottsdale with dementia, and continue reading to find out how to promote total health for an aging loved one using memory-based activities.
Which Games Are Best?
Although there are new games and puzzles available on the market that are specifically intended for use by patients with dementia, the jury is out over whether high-tech games are more effective than the old standards. Patients in the early stages of dementia may feel more comfortable with familiar card games like “Go Fish,” board games like “Checkers” and simple puzzles. Flash cards used to teach children to associate words with pictures can be used to improve memory as well.
Another type of pastime that dementia patients can enjoy while improving their cognitive abilities is known as reminiscence therapy. This includes any activity that triggers memories, such as singing along with familiar songs, looking through photo albums or scrap-booking. Everyday activities like cooking and gardening can also help a dementia patient recall forgotten memories. For family caregivers, asking non-specific questions about your loved one’s past, such as what kinds of things he or she enjoyed doing as a teenager can evoke cherished memories that can help you bond during this difficult time.
Understanding Your Loved One’s Abilities
Whatever games and activities you undertake with a patient suffering from dementia, it’s very important not become frustrated or disappointed if you don’t see immediate results. Approach mentally stimulating activities with a sense of fun and humor, and both of you will be more likely to want to repeat the experience. Remember that your primary responsibility as a caregiver is to help your loved one enjoy the highest quality of life that can be realistically expected under the circumstances.
For Scottsdale families who are overwhelmed by the care responsibilities of their aging loved one with dementia, reach out to Home Care Assistance at 480-448-6215 and speak with a devoted Care Manager about part-time care in Scottsdale. We are available 24/7 and can help you create a custom dementia care plan to alleviate your concerns, while providing the highest level of quality care to your aging loved one.