Just like many other aspects in life, a bit of innovation goes a long way in terms of providing care for Alzheimer’s disease. At Anthem Home Care, we understand how challenging it can be to meet the ever-changing needs inherent with dementia; on a single day, your loved one may feel calm and satisfied, while the next day, endure heightened anxiety and agitation.
The important thing is to remain flexible, and to have multiple tools and resources at the ready to draw from based upon the individual’s unique needs at the moment. Our senior care professionals have assembled three unique recommendations which can be remarkably reliable in lifting a senior’s mood and allowing for expression of emotions: the MAP approach for Alzheimer’s therapy.
The acronym MAP is short for three kinds of therapy:
The mind’s ability to hold memories associated with music, even in Alzheimer’s disease, is incredible. Music can be incorporated in many ways for soothing, engagement, and memory stimulation. Just a couple of strategies to utilize music in Alzheimer’s include:
- Identify which songs from the older adult’s younger years spark memories, and create a playlist on a smartphone or iPod for the individual to enjoy. Or, use a karaoke machine for sing-alongs. As the disease advances, musical preference will probably reflect the senior’s childhood memories.
- Select upbeat, lively songs and invite the senior to dance, according to his or her physical ability. Tapping the feet and clapping along can be satisfying for individuals who are less mobile.
- Play relaxing, soothing music later in the day to help minimize the effects of sundowning, to lessen anxiety, and to promote sleep.
Art, in its countless forms, is a superb means of self-expression for all of us, including individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. It allows for tactile engagement and strengthening of fine motor skills. Try several mediums to uncover what the senior most enjoys: painting, drawing, coloring, working with clay, etc.
Allowing a senior loved one to make whatever he or she wants is typically effective; however, if some direction is preferred, try discussing a story from the senior’s past first, and then asking her or him to express the story through art.
Animals provide a sense of friendship and nurturing unlike any other, and a lot of older adults are drawn to those that remind them of past pets. Spending some time simply petting or holding an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure, stress, and anxiety, along with a great many other benefits. Within the advanced stages associated with the disease, a stuffed animal may also frequently provide feelings of comfort.
For even more innovative approaches to Alzheimer’s therapy and dementia care, get in touch with the senior care team at Anthem Home Care. Our caregivers are specially trained and knowledgeable in compassionate, professional care for dementia, and provide effective management techniques for some of the more difficult aspects of the disease, including wandering, agitation, sundowning, and more. To learn more about in-home care for dementia in Portland, TX and the surrounding cities, reach out to us at 361-643-2323 for a free in-home consultation.