10 Memory Stimulating exercises

Stimulating the mind and memory are great tools for dementia and Alzheimer’s patient.  Even in the most advanced stages they can do simple task.

The interest and ability of each person is different, however some suggestions are:

Music has a healing power
Music has a healing power
  1. Checkers
  2. Tic tac toe
  3. Cards—Uno, Old Maid, etc.
  4. Puzzles—even if it is the simple 10 piece puzzle
  5. Word Search Puzzles
  6. Fill in the Blanks—we will take a familiar hymn, song or piece of scripture and remove 1-2 words to allow the patient to fill in the blanks {ex. For God so loved the {world}; How {Great} thou art; Jesus love {me}}
  7. Music—often songs bring back memories of days gone by
  8. Computer based games such as Smartbrain
  9. Dominoes or Qwirkle
  10. Household Chores—this is great for more advances cased. Simple task such as folding socks or washcloths, planting seeds, mixing ingredients, dusting, etc.


What exercises do you use to stimulate the mind?

7 Ways to Help Alzheimer’s when have Trouble expressing self

Many people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia have a difficult time expressing themselves.

Often they cannot find the work or get the word to roll off of their tongue, although they long to.

Sign Language is one way to help people express themselves
Sign Language is one way to help people express themselves

Some ways in which to combat this are:

  1. Teach sign language for simple words {drink, eat, bathroom, etc.}
  2. Have picture cards for the person to point to {food, bed, family, shower, etc.}
  3. Watch non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, posture, gestures, clenched hands, etc.
  4. Understand a native language {ex. I had a man that was a missionary to Africa. He would divert to that language at times.  Understanding words for that language helped to understand his needs.}
  5. Use music to soothe. Often music helps a person with the disease to find words they are having trouble finding. Also, playing an instrument can provide a way for self-expression.
  6. Ask to draw or paint a picture {if capable—mid to late stages may not have the capability}
  7. Point to what they would like.
  8. Bonus: We’ve discovered that sometimes playing charades also helps in expressing oneself.


How do you help your loved one express themselves when they struggle?

Interruptions in daily routine

Interruptions frustrates routines
Interruptions frustrates routines

Many people enjoy their routine, whether they are children, adults or the elderly.

Sometimes interrupting a daily routine can be confusing for the elderly.  This is especially true with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.

This can lead to increased agitation and confusion.

Make a note of when there is increased agitation and confusion.  Are there interruptions that brought this about?

How do you deal with interruptions to your routine?

The importance of Fellowship and Outings in the Elderly

Just because we are getting older, does not mean we don't need fellowship with our peers
Just because we are getting older, does not mean we don’t need fellowship with our peers

We all need fellowship with our friends and peers.

I’ve met some families that long to constantly take family members out.  I’ve met other family members that refuse to take their family members out, although it is enjoyable for that person.

There are instances when it is not possible to have outings, such as if the person is bed bound.

However, short outings are encouraged for the elderly.

Doing so gets them out and about and allows them to interrupt with others.

Socialization is important for the elderly.  This is one of the benefits of adult day care, retirement centers or skilled nursing care.

However, even if a person is home bound short outings are still good for them.

These can include:

We all need fellowship
We all need fellowship
  • Going out to eat
  • Riding into town and back
  • A walk through nature {or a ride}
  • Having a friend visit
  • Family gatherings
  • Doctor visits
  • Personal Care Outings {Hair, Nails, etc.}

How do you help your loved one have fellowship and outings?

The Elderly Need a Lot of Sleep

Working with the elderly, I’ve discovered one thing.  They all need a lot of sleep.

The amount of sleep is different for each person.

There is no set age when this sets in.

The elderly need a lot of sleep
The elderly need a lot of sleep

There are numerous factors that play into these factors, such as

  • effects of medicine
  • diseases they have been diagnosed with {Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc}
  • activity level
  • age
  • the more activity wears them out the more rest they usually need {for example if just getting in and out of car or going out to eat is too much, then they may sleep for a while upon return}

Just as young children need a lot of sleep, so do the elderly.

They need the time to rest and rejuvenate their system.

There are times when their agitation or moods may be enhanced due to the lack of rest and sleep needed.

How much does your loved one sleep?