The World Health Organization reports that more than 55 million people around the world are currently living with some form of dementia, with an additional 10 million cases diagnosed each year. There are many different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease which accounts for up to 70 percent of dementia cases. All forms of dementia are progressive in nature and each one leads to deterioration in cognitive function. Dementia affects thinking, orientation, memory, calculation, learning capacity, language, comprehension, and judgment, as well as mood and emotional control.
Dementia can have social, economic, physical and psychological impacts for both the patient and for families and caregivers. That is why it is important for all those impacted to understand what it means to be living with dementia, what are the best dementia activities and what caregiver tips can help to create a positive, supportive environment for everyone.
Living with Dementia
When a loved one is living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the caregiver role can be a complicated one. At some point, many families opt to move their loved one to a memory care community. Memory care communities are known to provide an improved quality of life for dementia and Alzheimer's patients in many ways.
No matter if your loved one is living at home or in a memory care community, like Anthology Senior Living, there are some caregiver tips that can make the dementia journey easier for everyone. These include: Limit potential frustrations, Reduce distractions, Create a daily schedule, but stay flexible, Discourage isolation, Keep the patient involved in decision-making, and Focus on safety by removing fall risks and using safety locks.
At Anthology Senior Living, our Virtue Memory Care Neighborhoods are specifically created to support the body, mind and spirit. From the artwork on the walls to the layout of the gardens, each piece selected for an Anthology memory care community is chosen to evoke feelings of safety and home. This helps to create a familiar, safe, calming environment for residents and their families.
No matter if you are supporting a loved one with dementia in their home or in a memory care community, there are ways to add engagement to each day. There is evidence that the right exercises, activities and therapies can even help to slow the progression of dementia. Here are a few ideas for keeping your loved one’s strengths and passions strong and active:
Enjoy crafts and hobbies. Knitting, painting, drawing, building things – any type of creative craft or hobby is a great way to remain connected to the things you enjoy. At Anthology of Burlington Creek, residents are invited to attend classes or practice on their own, all in an effort to keep the hobbies they cherish as part of their daily lives.
Focus on happy memories. Images from the past, photos of family and friends and special mementos are great ways to jump-start the memory and support the brain in recalling happy times. At Anthology of Denton, and as part of the Virtue Program, memory displays are created outside each resident’s room and include personal pictures and mementos to provide familiarity and strengthen the resident’s connection to the community.
Make mealtime fun. It is important to encourage healthy eating habits and making mealtime a social occasion is a great way to incorporate connection and fun with eating. At Anthology of Wheaton, residents can share meals with neighbors and friends, as well as invite family to join them. Three gourmet meals are provided each day by in-house chefs and all meals are supervised by a registered dietician.
Stay safe. Patients with dementia may become frightened in unfamiliar environments and may wander if they become confused. Residents and families at Anthology of Meridian Hills can rest comfortably knowing the community relies on high-touch safety and security features, including personal alert systems.
Incorporate technology. There are many new programs and therapies that use technology to help support dementia patients and can potentially slow the progression of the disease. At Anthology of Louisville, team members receive specialized training and are certified in dementia care. Residents are able to participate in activities and programs through Fit Minds, a Cognitive Stimulation Therapy to improve overall brain health, as well as activities through iN2L, which focuses on person-centered engagement.
Securing a Safe Future
Do you have questions about the Anthology Senior Living memory care communities? Our team has answers! Contact us today to learn more about our communities, our programs and how we support our residents and their families.