Sensory Activities Offer Late-Stage Dementia Aid
Being able to care for your loved one with dementia in the safety and familiarity of their own home is a difficult task, but helping them age in place is a gift that affords them dignity and comfort. If you're a home caregiver in the Raynham area that's looking to give your loved one purposeful activity to keep their hands busy, their mind active, and to delay further cognitive decline, here are some great sensory tools that you can employ in the course of senior companionship.
Dementia Care and Sensory Activities
Dementia is a neurological disease in which a person's memory, cognitive ability, and physical health declines over time. As the disease progresses, it can cause such a pronounced decline in cognitive ability that lifelong hobbies may become impossible for your loved one to engage in.
But that doesn't mean there aren't moments of joy to be had when providing live-in home care. People who suffer from advanced dementia benefit greatly from sensory-based activities. Sensory activities are precisely what they sound like: activities that engage the five senses. They can help to activate dormant neural connections, giving people purposeful activity infused with a sense of nostalgia and joy.
Tried and True Sensory Activities
For home caregivers with a little imagination, there are an endless amount of sensory activities for your loved one to enjoy. Here are five tried and true activities suitable for people with advanced dementia.
Fidget aprons provide a safe way for people with dementia to occupy their hands while experiencing an appropriate cognitive challenge. On the front of the apron are objects of various textures and purposes, like felt squares, zippers, loose strings, and Velcro. A fidget apron is the perfect way to help your loved one dispel nervous energy while promoting cognitive functioning.
A rummage box operates on the same principle as a fidget apron; it gives restless hands a way to keep busy. A rummage box can also be a nostalgic journey filled with discovery. Simply fill a box or drawer with items that are safe for your loved one to touch and play with. Home caregivers should try putting items of all different textures inside, as well as items that are particularly meaningful to your loved one.
Touch isn't the only sense worth engaging. Your loved one's sense of smell is deeply tuned to their memory. Introducing various scents is a great way to help activate dormant or eroded neural connections and spark renewed cognitive functions and memory.
Music is one of the most universally-effective sensory activities that a person can engage in. It's been proven that music and emotions are intimately linked together. Music underscores each phase of our lives. Listening to music while providing senior companionship is a great way to give your loved one meaningful sensory activity and cognitive stimulation.
Purposeful Activity is the Root of Consistent Care
Dementia care isn't easy for any home caregiver. It only gets more complex as time goes by. That's why it's essential to foster those little moments of joy with your loved one using activities that meet them at their level. Senior Helpers can help. We are proud to serve the elders and family caregivers in Plymouth, Raynham, Dartmouth, Attleboro, and other areas in Bristol County. Please contact us to learn more about our GEMS dementia care program.