Assisted Living Services That Promote the Cognitive Health of People With Alzheimer's
Quite mistakenly, moving a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia to an assisted living facility is often viewed as a resignation that the progressive disease can no longer be managed. Like many with loved ones affected by Alzheimer's, you are seeking assistance because you feel you can no longer meet their daily living needs while ensuring their health and safety. Feelings of guilt and abandoning your loved one often accompany this major life decision. In fact, you could be improving their quality of life by choosing therapeutic assisted living services. Intellectual and physical activities, in particular, have been shown to improve or delay memory loss and dementia in people with Alzheimer's. This checklist has been designed to help you choose an assisted living facility with services that are known to slow the progression of Alzheimer's.
The progression of Alzheimer's, the leading cause of dementia, is often misunderstood. Although the disease's progression cannot be stopped, the rate of progression and delay of symptoms can be slowed. Numerous studies have shown that brain games, puzzles, and computer games improve memory in those afflicted. As you interview assisted living facilities, ask how they provide daily mental stimulation for people with Alzheimer's.
Activities that improve cognitive functioning do not have to be structured. An assisted living facility that plans daily social activities will provide many opportunities for intellectual stimulation. For instance, learning the names of birds and plants in the garden can improve memory.
Assisted living carers should promote active physical lives for the elderly by supporting walking, dancing, stretching in bed, gardening, and other activities. Physical activity increases blood oxygen to the brain, stimulates chemicals that improve mood, and strengthens brain connections. For your loved one already living with the onset of the disease, these benefits can improve their reasoning and thinking skills and memory.
Gardening and Other Outdoor Activities
A well-designed assisted living home provides easy movement between indoor spaces, and outdoor patios and yard space. If they do not already offer outdoor activities, you can always suggest they develop an active gardening and birding culture to provide continuous contact with nature.
Do not be surprised if an assisted living home says their elderly patients are no longer interested in these activities, but do consider looking elsewhere. At any stage of progression, an active mental and physical life will improve the quality of life of your loved one with Alzheimer's.