Like many aspects in life, resourcefulness can go a long way when it comes to providing care for a senior loved one with dementia. At Compassionate Nursing Services, we understand how challenging it can be to fulfill the ever-changing needs inherent with dementia; on a single day, a senior loved one might feel calm and satisfied, while the next day, experience elevated anxiety and agitation.
The important thing is to be flexible, and have many different tools and resources ready to draw from in line with the individual’s specific needs at particular moments. Our home care assistance St. Louis experts have compiled three unique suggestions which can be tremendously successful in reducing common dementia behaviors, lifting a senior’s mood and allowing for expression of emotions: the MAP approach.
The acronym MAP is short for three kinds of therapy:
The mind’s ability to hold memories pertaining to music, even in Alzheimer’s disease, is amazing. Music can be included in a variety of ways for calming, engagement, and memory stimulation. Just a few strategies to utilize music in Alzheimer’s include:
- Figure out what songs from the senior’s younger years stimulate memories, and make a playlist for the individual to enjoy. Or, use a karaoke machine for sing-alongs. As the disease advances, musical preference will likely reflect the person’s childhood memories.
- Choose upbeat, lively songs and invite your loved one to dance, in accordance with his / her physical capability. Tapping the feet and clapping along tends to be satisfying for those who are less mobile.
- Play peaceful, calming music during the late afternoon to help decrease the effects of sundowning, to cut back anxiety, and to promote sleep.
Art, in its various forms, offers a fantastic opportunity for self-expression, especially for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. What’s more, it allows for tactile engagement and strengthening of fine motor skills. Try multiple mediums to figure out what the senior most enjoys: painting, drawing, coloring, working with clay, etc.
Allowing the individual to make whatever she or he wants is frequently 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 feeling of companionship and nurturing unlike any other, and lots of seniors are attracted to those that remind them of past pets. Passing time simply petting or holding an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure levels, stress, and anxiety, among many other benefits. During the advanced stages associated with the disease, a stuffed animal may also provide feelings of comfort.
For more innovative approaches to Alzheimer’s care, connect with the home care assistance St. Louis team at Compassionate Nursing Services. Our caregivers are trained and knowledgeable in compassionate, professional care for dementia, and provide effective management approaches for some of the more challenging aspects of the disease, such as wandering, agitation, sundowning, and more. Contact us at 314-432-4312 for a free in-home consultation to find out more!