Posted on: 20 May 2015
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's, you know how mentally and emotionally draining it can be for them to suffer with memory loss. It's hard on you as a caregiver to watch them decline as well. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's is not curable, but you can manage the symptoms with the help of health care and medication. A great way to help your loved one stay mentally sharp and spend quality time with them is to focus on activities that strengthen their memory.
You can spend a weekend with your loved one working on a puzzle together. Be mindful of their abilities so you don't get a puzzle that is too difficult for them to put together or too hard to see the small pieces. Larger pieces and easy-to-see designs usually work best. Puzzles help them use their critical thinking and memory because they have to reference what the puzzle should look like as they are putting it together and think about what piece makes sense where.
A memory matching card game is a great option because it requires your loved one to recall what cards they have seen along the way. You can use adult-themed cards such as photographs or art work instead of cartoon cards so they don't feel belittled. For the early stages of this disease, your loved one will be capable of playing with the cards face-down, but if your loved one is in the more advanced stage, they will do better with the cards face up.
Go Fish is another good game to play with a loved one with Alzheimer's in the early stages. They will need to think about the cards in their hand as well as what they have asked the players for in order to create matches.
Any card game that your loved one likes is a good choice as long as they are still able to think and play along.
Bingo is a popular choice for seniors because it is a great social activity and it is simple enough for them to follow along without having to concentrate too much. They do need to be familiar with their cards, and if they are looking for more of a challenge, they can play multiple cards at a time. You can let your loved one participate in Bingo at senior centers, churches, or other group settings, or you can buy the game and bring it home to play as a family.
These small games will not only help your loved one use their memory and critical thinking which will help them stay sharp longer, but you will also get the benefit of quality time that will let you enjoy them despite the challenges. If the condition progresses, you may want to consider support from a home health care provider to help with daily tasks.Share