As with many aspects of life, just a little resourcefulness goes a long way with regards to providing care for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. At Absolute Companion Care, we understand how challenging it can be to meet the ever-changing needs inherent with dementia; on one day, a senior loved one may feel peaceful and satisfied, while the next morning, he or she may experience heightened anxiety and agitation.
One of the keys is to try to remain adaptable, and to have a range of tools and resources at the ready to draw from based upon your loved one’s particular requirements at present. Our highly-skilled experts have compiled three unique Alzheimer’s therapy strategies that may be extremely helpful in lifting a senior’s mood and allowing for expression of emotions: the MAP approach.
The acronym MAP stands for three different types of therapy:
The mind’s ability to retain memories associated with music, even in Alzheimer’s disease, is impressive. Music can be incorporated in a variety of ways for relaxing, engagement, and memory stimulation. A few ways to utilize music in Alzheimer’s may include:
- Identify which songs from the older adult’s younger years trigger memories, and create a playlist on an iPod or smart phone for the person to enjoy. Or, use a karaoke machine for sing-alongs. As the disease advances, musical preferences probably will reflect the senior’s childhood memories.
- Select upbeat, lively songs and encourage your loved one to dance, according to his/her physical ability. Tapping the feet and clapping along is usually enjoyable for individuals who are less mobile.
- Play peaceful, soothing music later in the day to help decrease the effects of sundowning, to cut back anxiety, and also to promote sleep.
Art, in its various forms, is a wonderful method of self-expression for all of us, especially those with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it enables tactile engagement and strengthening of fine motor skills. Try multiple mediums to learn what the senior most enjoys: painting, drawing, coloring, working with clay, etc.
Allowing your loved one to make whatever she or he wants is frequently effective, but if some direction is preferred, try discussing a story from the senior’s past first, and then asking him or her to convey the story through art.
Animals offer a feeling of friendship and nurturing unlike any other, and many older adults are drawn to the ones that remind them of past pets. Hanging out and simply petting or holding an animal has been shown to reduce blood pressure, stress, and anxiety, among a number of other benefits. During the advanced stages associated with the disease, a stuffed animal can also frequently provide feelings of comfort.
For even more creative approaches to Alzheimer’s care, contact the compassionate home care team at Absolute Companion Care. Our caregivers are specially trained and knowledgeable in compassionate, professional care for dementia, and provide effective management approaches for some of the more challenging aspects of the disease, such as wandering, agitation, sundowning, and more. If you’re looking for Butler senior care families trust, reach out to us Absolute Companion Care at 410-357-9640 for a free in-home consultation to learn more!