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5 Hobbies for a Senior in the Beginning Stages of Alzheimer’s

When an elderly relative has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s important to keep him or her stimulated with activities that may help slow the progression of the disease. As you provide at-home care in Waterloo for your senior loved one, encouraging him or her to try out some simple hobbies may be the trick to boosting mental engagement.

1. Playing Music

Seniors with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s are often able to remember their favorite songs. This is because this information is stored in their long-term memory, which is normally not affected until later progressions of the disease. If your loved one has a musical gift, encourage him or her to join a church choir or a sing-along at the local senior center. The activity combined with regular social interaction may help him or her maintain cognitive function.

2. Pet Keeping

Encourage your loved one to help you walk the dog or brush the cat, or consider getting a pet for him or her to take care of. Caring for an animal can provide your loved one with a sense of purpose, encourage physical activity, and may also help relieve anxiety that can lead to aggressive outbursts in people with Alzheimer’s. If your loved one has limited mobility, a fish aquarium or a small bird can be equally therapeutic.

3. Gardening

If your loved one enjoys the outdoors, he or she can help you care for your flowerbeds. You can assign simple tasks like planting a few flowers, watering, or harvesting vegetables. If your loved one is artistic, you can even provide the supplies he or she needs to create a flower arrangement.

4. Scrapbooking

Seniors receiving Alzheimer’s care in Waterloo may benefit from reminiscing over old pictures. In many cases, they may even remember events from decades ago with amazing clarity. Provide your loved one with a collection of old family photos so he or she can create a memory book. Encouraging your loved one to share the stories behind the pictures is an excellent way to create treasured family memories and stimulate memory.

5. Doing Puzzles and Games

Studies show mental stimulation helps individuals with Alzheimer’s maintain cognitive function. Simple jigsaw puzzles with large pieces or familiar card games like Go Fish can provide your loved one with social and mental stimulation without being too frustrating. Of course, you should make sure the games or puzzle images aren’t too childlike. For example, try choosing puzzles with photos of animals or scenery.

Some hobbies may be easier to manage and even more stimulating if a regular companion is available to participate as well. If your loved one needs assistance with cognitive stimulation, an Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiver in Waterloo can help. At Home Care Assistance, all of our caregivers are trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which helps slow cognitive decline by engaging seniors in stimulating activities. For more information on CTM and our other senior care services, call an experienced Care Manager today at (519) 954-2111 to schedule a complimentary consultation.