Like many aspects in life, just a little innovation goes a long way with regards to providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. At Morning Glory Home Care, we understand how challenging it can be to meet the ever-changing needs inherent with caring for a loved one with dementia. During one day, the senior may feel relaxed and content, while the day after, he or she may experience elevated anxiety and agitation.
The key is to try to remain flexible, and to have various tools and resources at the ready to draw from based upon the individual’s needs at a particular point in time. Our Shiloh home care professionals have compiled three unique Alzheimer’s disease treatment strategies which can be remarkably reliable in lifting a senior’s mood and allowing for expression of emotions: the MAP approach.
The acronym MAP stands for three kinds of therapy:
The mind’s ability to hold memories linked to music, even in Alzheimer’s disease, is incredible. Music can be included in a variety of approaches for calming, engagement, and memory stimulation. Just a few ways you can utilize music in Alzheimer’s may include:
- Determine which songs from the older adult’s younger years spark memories, and make a playlist on a smartphone or iPod for the individual to enjoy. Or, use a karaoke machine for sing-alongs. As the disease advances, musical preference will more than likely reflect the senior’s childhood memories.
- Select upbeat, lively songs and encourage your loved one to dance, based on his or her physical capability. Tapping the feet and clapping along is generally enjoyable for individuals who are less mobile.
- Play quiet, calming music later in the day to help minimize the effects of sundowning, to cut back anxiety, as well as promote sleep.
Art, in its numerous forms, is a fantastic means of self-expression for everyone, including those with Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, it enables tactile engagement and strengthening of fine motor skills. Try a number of mediums to figure out what your loved one most enjoys: painting, drawing, coloring, working with clay, etc.
Allowing the senior to create whatever she or he wants is often effective; however, if some guidance is preferred, try sharing a story from the senior’s past first, and then asking him or her to convey the story through art.
Animals offer a feeling of companionship and nurturing unlike any other, and many seniors are attracted to those that remind them of past pets. Spending some time simply petting or holding an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure levels, stress, and anxiety, among various other benefits. During the advanced stages of the disease, a stuffed animal can also frequently provide feelings of comfort.
To get more innovative approaches to Alzheimer’s care, get in touch with the Shiloh home care team at Morning Glory Home Care. Our caregivers are exclusively trained and knowledgeable in compassionate, professional care for dementia, and provide effective management approaches for some of the more challenging components of the disease, like wandering, agitation, sundowning, and much more. Reach out to us at 618-667-8400 for a free in-home consultation and to learn more about our Shiloh home care!