If your loved one is often anxious or agitated, sensory therapies are simple ways to provide comfort and connection without relying on medication. Everyday objects that once held meaning can stimulate the five senses – touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight – to spark fond memories or evoke happy feelings associated with highlights in your loved one’s life.
Do you feel less than steady on your feet? Are you worried about painful, costly injuries, or loss of independence? If so, setting aside just a few minutes a day to practice your breathing, movements, and concentration can greatly improve your balance, restore confidence, and reduce your risk of falling. And the minimal time and energy investments are well worth the rewards.
Think of your favorite song. Chances are, it reminds you of a special someone, time or place in your life. Your favorite artist might evoke joy, heartbreak, longing or contentment – all with one cherished album. Did you know that meaningful music can move your loved one in much the same way, well into the late stages of dementia?
Has your loved one’s dementia caused their get-up-and-go to, well, get up and go? “It’s quite common for people with memory loss to withdraw from activities they once enjoyed because they are depressed, worried about embarrassing themselves, or are afraid of failure,” says Michelle Straughn, Executive Director at YourLife™ of Tallahassee, a Memory Care community in Tallahassee, Florida.
It’s common for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to experience depression, anxiety and other symptoms that can cause them to avoid family and friends or withdraw from activities they once greatly enjoyed for fear of embarrassment or failure.
Simply getting older puts many of us at risk for developing new illnesses or chronic health conditions, so it’s not surprising that older adults with dementia often have one or more other chronic diseases that significantly impact their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Diagnosing and treating coexisting conditions, however, can be difficult.