When memory begins to fade, it’s important to keep seniors mentally stimulated and connected to life through thought-provoking activities. Consider things that they previously enjoyed, or those that connect them to your family. Here are five ideas to get you started:
- Get crafty: Art projects, like painting, drawing, photography or sewing, will stimulate the imagination and improve motor skills. They can also be a form of communication for aging seniors.
- Reminisce: Look at family photographs or watch home videos to remind your elder loved one of special milestones. Photos and videos can often trigger memories and conversation. Better yet, help him or her arrange photos in a scrapbook, or make a new family video that they can watch in months to come.
- Read and write: Reading books, magazines or newspapers can help preserve brain health and prevent further memory loss. It can also aid aging seniors in feeling connected to current events and the outside world. Additionally, writing—whether letters, journal entries, poems or memoirs—can help those with dementia express emotions and thoughts. Suggest a topic and see what he or she writes!
- Make music: Encourage your loved one to play an instrument or sing songs he or she was once familiar with. Dementia patients often respond well to music, especially tunes associated with past experiences.
- Get moving: Whether you join them for a walk, dance session or yoga class, physical activity will boost mood levels, increase circulation and improve sleep for seniors.