If you are a relative or a friend of someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related illnesses, it’s important to understand that despite cognitive decline and a change in the person’s abilities, they are still able to enjoy relationships, environments, and activities. Alzheimer’s patients can still find joy and satisfaction in the mid and advanced stage of the disease.
When you’re thinking about their care plan, consider these 5 tips for improving their quality of life.
#1 Creating a Comfortable Environment
The assisted living residence you choose should be comfortable and suitable for someone with dementia. Many All Seniors Care Living Centres feature senior apartments in memory care facilities with staff trained to assist those with dementia and create positive experiences with them.
#2 Animal Therapy
Studies of animal therapy show that social interaction with animals like dogs can help dementia patients in a number of ways:
- Increasing interactivity
- Reducing agitation
- Improve eating
- Simply enjoying the presence of a therapy animal
There are many types of therapy animals, including dogs, cats, and even birds. Memory care facilities often organize pet therapy days when trained therapy animals come to visit.
#3 Strong Relationships
You can help improve their quality of life by keeping up a strong relationship, visiting frequently, and participating in their ongoing care. It’s important to have strong relationships with family and friends, but community bonds are also important.
#4 Meaningful Activities
Caregivers should be striving to provide dementia patients with meaningful and stimulating activities. Meaningful activities appeal to their personalities and what type of person they are. It might involve creative activities like painting, working with their hands, and gardening,
In addition to activities that connect with them emotionally and creatively, exercise also remains an important activity, especially in the early and mid-stages of the disease. Some good exercises for seniors with dementia include:
- Tai chi
- Seated exercises
The emphasis is on exercises that are low impact, help with balance, and improve mood. While you might not consider gardening a form of exercise, it’s a great physical activity that also gets you outside and can improve your mood.
#5 Caregivers and Family Who Know Their Desires
When their symptoms are mild to moderate, it’s important that dementia patients talk to their family and caregivers about their wishes and desires. As the disease progresses, they may no longer be capable of making important decisions for themselves.
As family members, talk to your loved one about what they want long-term. Knowing that they are in good hands with loved ones who will respect their wishes long-term can make a huge difference.
Talking about quality of life with a loved one can be difficult. You can find advice about bringing up the conversation about senior housing options on our blog. It helps to listen, remain open, and ask your loved one what they want.
For those living with someone recently diagnosed, deciding when greater care, including a move to a memory care facility, is required can be tough. You can click here to find more information about identifying when it may be time to make that move.
Starting off well-informed can help make the process so much easier for everyone involved.