The Best Memory Care Activities to Keep Aging Adults Engaged
As humans, we’re naturally curious. We’re always looking for new ways to interact with the world around us—and our natural inclination for connection and exploration never really fades.
Even as we grow older, our minds slowing and our bodies weakening, that pull towards fun and adventure remains as strong—and consistent—as ever.
Probably because we value rich experiences. Experiences that fill our hearts with joy and make us feel alive.
Unfortunately, the potential struggles that complement old age are vast and varied:
- Limited mobility
- Low energy
- Memory loss
- Lack of focus
- Increased isolation
And while these apparent disadvantages present their own set of unique challenges, it’s important to continue to participate in activities that keep us both physically and mentally present.
Particularly throughout every phase of dementia.
Suppose you’re responsible for the care of an aging adult. You’re putting in the work, making sure their basic needs are met, but you’re struggling to come up with fun, engaging memory care activities.
We can help.
At The Moments, we provide 24-hour, person-centered care for seniors with memory loss. Along with a welcoming, safe environment that’s more like a 5-star hotel than a long-term care facility, we also provide specialized programming tailored to each resident’s specific abilities and limitations.
This means we’re the proverbial experts when it comes to this particular subject.
Here’s our list of the best memory care activities for seniors…
Keep ‘em Moving
Do we really need to tout the long-term benefits of regular exercise? Experts from virtually every discipline agree that proper fitness is the key to greater happiness and longevity. But if we’re being more specific, the benefits range from increased cognitive function and physical mobility to decreased mortality rates—especially when it comes to heart disease.
That’s why we always make it a point to prioritize exercise in our programming.
Now, this doesn’t mean we have our residents running 6-minute miles three times a week. And we’re definitely not challenging them to max out their bench press.
It simply means we find fun, creative ways to keep our residents mobile.
Here’s a list of the various physical activities that we incorporate into the daily routines of aging adults in our facility:
For those with a little more mobility, we encourage dancing. Jumping, jiving, spinning, shuffling—we leave it all on the floor. While relatively simple, moving to a beat can increase strength and flexibility, improve blood circulation, and help build muscle. It’s also a fantastic social activity that some experts believe can relieve depression and anxiety.
Gardening is one of those memory care activities that heals both the mind and the body. It’s physical enough that participants get a solid workout, but it’s also incredibly therapeutic.
Maybe this seems a little too straightforward, but we often find people tend to underestimate the incredible benefits of taking a stroll. Just 30 minutes of walking each day—doesn’t have to be particularly strenuous—can improve heart health, lower blood sugar, and boost mental health.
Engage the Mind
Now, here’s the thing: activities for dementia patients in long-term care shouldn’t be restricted to physical exercise. Older adults also need to activate the brain’s problem-solving, intellectual, and creative areas.
At The Moments, we make it a point to include mind-stimulating activities that can improve memory and other cognitive functions:
There’s a lot of buzz around the idea of mindfulness these days. Many experts say that meditation and Tai Chi come with a variety of potential physical and psychological benefits for older adults, including increased focus and self-control, improved social abilities, and decreased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and disruptive behavior.
Most of us already understand the powerful impact music can have on our moods and behaviors. There’s almost nothing more freeing than belting your favorite tune while fighting the traffic during your morning commute. Music therapy is an evidence-based treatment that helps with a variety of disorders, including depression, autism, substance abuse, and Alzheimer’s disease.
There’s just something incredibly comforting about food. The familiar smells and flavors experienced when cooking a favorite meal can be very therapeutic—especially for seniors with dementia. Plus, it requires a certain level of focus that prevents the mind from resorting to auto-pilot.
Memory Care Activities at The Moments
While this outline may give you a pretty good idea of what sort of activities can help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia live healthier, happier lives, it isn’t an exhaustive list.
There are plenty of other memory care activities for seniors that have tremendous value.
For instance, our more independent residents are encouraged to join The Moments Adventure Club.
It’s a great opportunity to experience art, life, and nature outside the walls of our facility—and we always provide dedicated care staff to support each event, so residents are safe.
Contact us today to learn more.