Alzheimer’s disease is a crippling degenerative disorder that slowly, piece by piece, eats away a person’s mind, leaving them incomplete and almost always at a loss. Patients with the disorder often experience difficulty expressing themselves, remembering things, and even to the point of losing their concept of identity altogether.
The disease takes a lot from the patient emotionally, but also from their loved ones who are helplessly looking on as the dreaded disease takes their friend or relative farther and farther from their reach. To a point, Alzheimer’s disease takes away the humanity of a patient, slowly erasing from existence everything they can call “me.”
But things can be better, and things should be better.
Institutions are now set up to help patients and their loved ones gain more understanding about the disease. Although no cure has yet been developed to stop the degeneration of the mind, neurologists are of one mind that certain activities can help the condition of Alzheimer’s patients, even those at the severe stage of the disease. These activities are aimed at stimulating the patient’s mind, aiding them in constructing logical thoughts, conversing with the people they love, and expressing their emotions through a shell of flesh slowly being muted by a mind that finds it harder and harder to make sense of things.
Most of the activities listed here can be done even without the supervision of a neurologist. Leesburg, Virginia is home of several institutions that can help you guide your loved ones through this journey. It is important to keep in mind that these activities are as useful to patients as it is to their loved ones in terms of coping with the situation.
A growing body of research suggests conclusively that “appropriate activities have a positive effect on the behavioral symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” According to Clive Evers, Director of Information at the Alzheimer’s Society, it is important for people in all stages of dementia to engage in meaningful activities. Anything that can occupy a person’s time can be called an activity and if he or she is engaged cognitively can be very beneficial. Without such engagement, patients are prone to the: four A’s of Alzheimer’s: anxiety, aggression, agitation, and apathy—making life with him or her more unpleasant and increasingly difficult.
Activities to Help People with Alzheimer’s Disease
To avoid these, take note of these activities. Keep your loved ones close and do not let them fade away.
➪Doing puzzles or playing games. Engaging the mind is always beneficial for your loved ones. Spend hours working out a puzzle with them or sit down and play a game. Take this opportunity to talk to them and help them remember fond memories.
➪Sing and dance. A familiar tune or favorite music can bring the spark back into your loved ones. Sing them a song or help them sing along one. Engage them physically. Urge them to stand and move about.
➪Take a walk or jog around. If the patient can do more physical stuff, a quick light exercise is good to get their brain cells working. If they can’t jog, a quiet walk in the park will do. Take your time and talk to them about the sights and sounds.
➪Sit and stay. Finally, just being with them is enough. Sit with them. Listen to their stories even though you find no logic in their telling. Maintain eye contact with them and touch their hands. Let them know that you are there, listening to them.
It is a sad, scary thing to experience, either slowly losing your memories or seeing your loved one lose their memories. As long as Science is at a loss for a cure, all we can do is to fill up the time they have left with happy memories, their fleeting moments of clarity with pleasant thoughts.