What Services and Activities Do Memory Care Communities Provide?
Learn about the services and engaging activities offered by Memory Care Communities for dementia residents, why these activities are important, and how you or your loved one can get involved through a Memory Care activities calendar.
Suppose you or your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and you are looking into options for care. Memory Care provides the medical and personal care necessary to support individuals with these types of challenges, helping to improve quality of life.
Memory Care is a specialized type of welcoming and life-enhancing long-term care community specifically tailored for those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of progressive-degenerative dementia. Memory Care residents benefit from specially designed services and activities to stimulate the senses, encourage routine, and promote a calming, enhanced mood.
Why Are Activities Beneficial for Dementia Residents?
Specialized activities for Memory Care residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have many benefits and are significant for healing the mind, body, and soul. They are meant to create a calming atmosphere, boost residents’ mood, develop a sense of purpose, encourage mental stimulation, and spur physical engagement.
When Memory Care residents participate in activities, such as games, exercise and outdoor activities, music and art, among other exciting projects like hobbies or classes, it helps individuals stick to day-to-day routines. Activities help provide structure for residents, which has been shown to help alleviate stress, create calmer and happier moods, and provide a feeling of purpose or control over their day and surroundings.
More than just creating a routine, activities open up time for bonding and socializing. Staying active stimulates cognitive function and encourages people to recall memories, share thoughts, feelings, ideas, and more. By being productive with one’s day, a person may feel more relaxed or enjoy a challenge that leads to a sense of accomplishment. However, all activities should make a person feel positive, and if they do not, then a different activity should be tried, that is less of a challenge or more to their liking.
Activities for Dementia Residents in Long-Term Care
While in long-term care, Memory Care residents can enjoy spending their time doing new activities or participate in some of their tried-and-true favorites. Activities are designed to be beneficial for the mind, body, and soul. Below are a few activities based on mental, physical, or spiritual interest/purpose:
- Mental activities - include puzzles, crosswords, folding and tying knots, bingo, singing a song, reading a book, matching card games, etc.
- Physical activities - include walking outside or inside, digging in the garden, dancing, exercise classes, etc.
- Emotional or spiritual activities – include looking through photo albums and their belongings, journaling, listening to music, creating a memory box, etc.
Giving a Memory Care resident daily responsibilities like simple chores that are easy and do not exert a lot of energy (I.e., folding clothes) and scheduling eating and sleeping for each day can help with consistency and building a helpful routine.
Lastly, activities are a personal choice and should be based on Memory Care residents' likes, interests, and what they feel comfortable doing. These should not cause stress or anxiety, so adjust the activity or change projects to fit their capabilities and desires.
Sensory Activities for Dementia Residents
Memory Care residents are encouraged when they feel engaged and connected to their communities, including the environment and people around them. This will help them to live a quality, happy life, even when living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Many Memory Care communities offer residents the opportunity to get involved in sensory stimulation activities, which are very engaging and purposeful.
What Is Sensory Stimulation and How Does It Help?
Sensory stimulation activates one or more of the senses, including taste, smell, vision, hearing, and touch. Sensory stimulation is known to trigger positive emotions and memories for senior residents, helping them reconnect with the world around them. Some sensory stimulation activities that engage sensations like touch, sight, smell, taste, and sound include:
- Holding objects that they do not often interact with like sand, seashells, sensory gel, etc.
- Pet therapy
- Going for a brisk walk
- Giving a hand or shoulder massage
- Sorting things (i.e., organizing a junk drawer, folding towels, connecting pairs of socks)
- Fun with sensory boxes (i.e., making a memory or scent box)
Memory Care Activities Calendar
Many Memory Care Communities offer their residents and their families an activities calendar of all the fun upcoming special activities. When these activities take place, friends and family are often invited to attend. The activities calendar helps families encourage their loved ones to participate in something they know they would enjoy doing.
There are so many Memory Care activities and there are even what are called “Memory Care Neighborhoods” within certain Assisted Living Communities. Read our next article, “Is Memory Care Part of Assisted Living?”, to learn more about Memory Care within these communities.
Find a Memory Care Community Near You
Memory Care Communities provide many opportunities for support, engagement, and stimulating activities. If your loved one needs increased care in a friendly and active environment, the best option for support will be a Memory Care Community. Let Referah’s team of experts help you search for a local Memory Care Community near you.