Dementia is a term used to cover diseases associated with memory and thinking loss. Diseases such as vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s are the ones most commonly found in roughly 60-80% of cases. It is a progressive disease most often paired with some sort of memory loss or inability to focus. Although there is no way to prevent dementia, there are activities that can trigger memories and events to enhance lives.
Top 5 Memory Activities
A memory box is a great way to remind a loved one of their past. The items chosen create the possibility of triggering a memory, so it is important to choose things that have a significant meaning. Memory boxes should be uniquely made to symbolize anything that can remind the loved one of their life and family. Items can be anything from a picture to an article of clothing. Boxes can also be made to symbolize specific places, that were once important to them. A beach themed memory box may include sand, shells, sunglasses, and suntan lotion. Looking, touching, and talking about these items create a gateway for memories to flow through.
Listen to Music
Dementia affects explicit memory, which is the conscious recovery of memories. Music is a great way to trigger these memories because hearing a song with significant importance, reminds us where we were, who we were with, and what we were doing when we heard it. Since people with dementia have trouble remembering on their own, music helps to ease this process. Listening to songs that were played during an important time in their life, such as a wedding, or were popular during their childhood, are examples of all the possible options that may work for your loved one.
Puzzles are a great, low-stress mental workout for any age. For dementia patients, puzzles can help them put together the pieces of their memory. This activity can help in ways such as maintaining cognitive function, increase interaction, and improve memory. Be sure to stay away from children’s puzzles and ones that are too complex. Allow your loved one to pick out a puzzle they would enjoy or pick one that has a familiar picture to trigger some memory.
Listing presidents can work in a similar way that listening to music can, especially if your loved one is a history fanatic. A president’s name may trigger memories of where you were when that president was elected, how old you were, and what you were doing in life while they were in office. Be sure to name presidents that served during their lifetime and made a significant impact on our country.
Make a Family Tree
Family trees are perfect for loved ones to use to remember their family and trigger memories they have had with them. They can be done in unique ways to best serve your loved one. Websites, chalkboards, and wall charts are just a few of the ways they can be done. This is a fun activity to put together as a family and create conversation. Adding pictures with years, and notes give them something to look at and interact with to keep family memories alive.
Dementia can create a great deal of agitation and frustration but participating in memory triggering activities can reduce this and improve the overall mood of your loved one. Dementia is a disease that can be difficult to manage but allowing your loved ones to age in a family home can be an important step to triggering a memory. BlueStar SeniorTech offers solutions that can enhance the lives of dementia patients and put their families at ease. To find a product that best fits you and your loved one’s lives, visit us online or call a product specialist 800-300-1724, option 1.