Though there are many strategies families can use when caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, a simple and underutilized tactic is kindness. If your loved one is living with this condition, the staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care in Birmingham, suggests a few kind things you can do when caring for him or her.
Laughter goes a long way for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Confusion, depression, and frustration are common among those living with the condition and can lead to anxiety, behavioral issues, and even aggression. However, telling your loved one a joke, watching a funny film, or using another method to make him or her laugh has many benefits. By making your loved one laugh, you are helping him or her:
- Reduce stress
- Increase social interaction
- Temper signs of aggression
- Ease symptoms of depression
- Redirect negative emotions
Old photos, greeting cards, songs, and movies are all great ways to help spark memories for your loved one. Taking the time to gather these mementos can draw out memories, even if your loved one has severe memory impairment. This activity can help your loved one access memories of people, places, and events, and it is also a kind gesture that will make him or her feel appreciated and loved.
Help your loved one plant flowers in the flowerbed or plants in the garden. During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, your loved one is less likely to be paranoid about being in the garden. Instead, your loved one will be able to engage all of his or her senses and rediscover the world. Being in the garden can also help your loved one recall pleasant long-term memories that bring him or her back to a healthier time.
This act of kindness can also help your loved one:
- Maintain a skill set
- Gain a sense of purpose
- Boost energy levels
- Experience success and build confidence
Make Physical Contact
Touching is a simple act of kindness that can help keep your loved one calm and less confused. The kindness of a touch can also boost your loved one’s mood, reduce blood pressure, and decrease stress-related cortisol hormones that have a negative effect on the memory.
There are various ways families providing Birmingham Alzheimer’s care can use the sense of touch to soothe seniors with Alzheimer’s, including:
- Hair combing and brushing
- Pats on the arms
To learn about additional approaches to Alzheimer’s care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our Cognitive Therapeutics Method is specifically designed for seniors with memory-related conditions and uses activities to help them engage with others in an enjoyable way and slow cognitive decline. For more information on the live-in and respite care Birmingham, MI, families trust, call 616-243-0835 today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced Care Managers.