At some point in their lives, many adults become responsible for a parent with memory impairment or cognitive decline. For some, the memory loss is slow and gradual, and for others, it seems like it happens overnight. Memory impairment activities need to be implemented as preventative care and treatment.
If your mom or dad begin to experience memory loss, they might tend to withdraw from activities alongside their family or friends. Helping them keep an active and engaged mind will help reduce the effects of cognitive impairment.
The Springs at Simpsonville recognizes the importance of creating meaningful memory impairment activities, not just ones to pass the time. Consider the interests your mom or dad have had in the past, recognizing they may need to be altered for safety and practicality.
Find Their Inner Picasso
Grab some crayons and coloring books or a few paintbrushes and encourage your mom or dad to get creative! Parents with memory loss could be more expressive than they once were and finally free their inner artist.
Try Old Hobbies
Did your mom love to knit? Encourage her to try it again with a simpler pattern. If dad was a jigsaw puzzle fanatic, find one with larger pieces to do together. Keep in mind; they may not be as adept as they used to be and could get easily frustrated.
Get Out Into the Garden
Repetitive activities, like raking, may be soothing to your mom or dad. Start a garden together and use colorful or fragrant flowers to arouse multiple senses. Gardening can be a physical and social activity, plus the sun and fresh air are always lovely.
Take a Walk
Physical activity has a myriad of benefits for all people. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy appetite, ensures a good night sleep, and reduces stress. Physical activity helps those with memory impairment by increasing blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function.
Choose a simple recipe for cookies, cupcakes, or brownies to make together. Encourage mom or dad to help with more manageable tasks, like stirring the batter. These tasks could be especially favorable to your parent if they enjoyed baking in their younger years.
Clean Up Around the House
Ask mom or dad to help you clean up around the house. Wiping the table, doing the dishes, or sweeping the patio together will make your parent feel like part of a team. Remember, they may not complete the task to perfection, but it is the process of working together that is important. Finishing these tasks will provide your parent with an intangible sense of accomplishment.
Read the Newspaper
Sit down with mom or dad and talk about that day’s news events. If they are able, take turns reading the newspaper and savor the moment together. Ask your parent to weigh in on the topics, asking specific questions to help prompt an answer.
Watch home videos and look through photo albums alongside your mom or dad. Encouraging your parent to remember key life events, such as their wedding day or high school graduation is a great, meaningful memory impairment activity. For someone with memory loss, older memories are more vivid than those that occurred recently, so sharing “remember when” stories will help evoke emotion tied to earlier memories.
Remember to focus on the process of the activity, not the end result. It doesn’t matter if your cookies came out perfect, but that mom or dad enjoyed the time you spent together and felt useful. Check out our memory care options here at The Springs and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more tips about caring for your parent!