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Activities to Help Stimulate Your Elderly Loved One’s Memory

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

Many seniors experience memory loss due to dementia or general aging, which typically affects short-term memory before long-term, but there are ways to help keep the memory alive and well. Oakville at-home care experts suggest some of these simple activities to provide mental stimulation for your senior loved one.

Scrapbooking

Sorting and organizing old pictures into albums can tap into your loved one’s recollection of family history and events. You can encourage him or her to share stories associated with the pictures and include them in the album. A scrapbooking project gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with your loved one and create a family heirloom in the process.

Cooking

Encourage your loved one to share a favorite recipe or help you with the family dinner. The act of cooking is one of the best ways to evoke memories since it involves all five senses. By including your loved one in cooking, you are providing mental stimulation and helping him or her feel like a vital member of the family. You also ensure traditional family recipes are preserved for future generations.

Playing Name Games

These types of games use both short-term and long-term memory and are especially helpful for seniors receiving Alzheimer’s or dementia care in Oakville. For instance, start by picking a category, such as animals, and take turns naming items in the category beginning with each letter of the alphabet. To make the game more challenging, you can encourage your loved one to try to name all of the previous items as well. Be sure to keep the categories relatively simple and broad to give your loved one the best chance of success.

Discussing Current Events

If your loved one enjoys watching the evening news or reading a daily newspaper, take the time to discuss events with him or her. Encourage your loved one to offer opinions regarding the various stories and ask him or her to share memories of similar events he or she may have experienced. This process can help your loved one develop and maintain his or her short-term information retention. If your loved one is easily agitated, you should avoid letting him or her read or watch stories that are particularly disturbing or violent.

The need for regular cognitive stimulation grows as a senior ages. If your loved one needs help keeping his or her mind active and healthy, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Using the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers can engage your loved one in various activities specifically designed to boost brain health. In addition to providing specialized dementia and Alzheimer’s care for Oakville seniors, we also offer Parkinson’s and stroke care. For more information and to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our qualified Care Managers, call (905) 337-1200 today.

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