Families that have to cope with a member who is suffering from Alzheimer’s often seek help from experts in Alzheimer’s & dementia care. There are so many concerns in interacting with an Alzheimer’s patient, the challenges of giving care to them can be overwhelming for the family. Expert caretakers who are trained in working with the patients can provide craft activities that engage the patient.
How Alzheimer’s Affects a Patient
The aspects of Alzheimer’s disease that make it such a challenge for those around the patient are the effects on the patient’s mental capacities. The disease provokes a degeneration of neurological functions, usually starting with the deterioration of short-term memory. That disability can lead to disorientation about surroundings, causing the patient to become lost in formerly familiar territory.
The consequences of the mental deterioration can make the patient very moody and unmotivated. The loss of short-term memory can make the patient difficult to manage, for their behavior can take unexpected turns. All of these concerns can be very big challenges to family members dealing with the patient. The progress of the disease can lead the family to seek out caregiving services, which can give the patient a sense of purpose and security in small ways.
The Limits of Focus
Because the patient cannot always remember why actions were begun, they may experience drastic mood swings. They start an activity with energy because of a particular expectation, but when the reason for the activity becomes lost to them, they cannot explain their sense of urgency, which leaves them frustrated. The loss of short term memory means that craft projects that take longer than one session or one day are not as ideal as crafts that can be completed within one session.
Professional caregivers know that senior care can provide many challenges. Engaging in projects that give Alzheimer’s patients satisfying stimulus is the key to filling the craft activity time. Because some patients have a progressive loss of manual dexterity, simpler activities are more useful.
Easy and Satisfying Projects
Whether the Alzheimer’s patient is receiving home care, taking part in an elder day-care service, or a resident in a managed care facility, easy and satisfying projects can be made available to the patient.
- Beading projects – stringing beads, making bracelets, necklaces, and other strands of colorful beads. These are activities that can be done in a single session, and the patient will have the satisfaction of a completed object.
- Collages from cards – the patient can be assisted in making collages on poster boards with images cut from birthday and holiday cards.
- Baking cookies – using a simple recipe, mixing the ingredients and preparing them on baking sheets. After baking, perhaps decorating them with frosting. The end result will be something delicious for the patient to enjoy.
- Model shapes or objects with play dough – the simple modeling substance is colorful and can reused, or lightly baked to be made permanent.
Giving patients satisfying activities can stimulate their mental faculties. A good activity session can cause them to happily look forward to the next session and even remember it is coming the next day, in spite of short term memory problems.
If you are seeking in home health care services for your family member who suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, consider finding a professional who has imaginative suggestions for craft activities. Caring and engaged assistance providers can inspire more up-beat feelings in the patients, which can bolster their over-all health.
Consult with Caregiving For You about the possibilities for assistance for your family member. Our expert team has considerable experience in handling these situations.