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Different Types of Memory Care Therapies at Assisted Living FacilitiesSeptember 15, 2020 0 Comment Category: Assisted Living
Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease experience extreme difficulties to interact with their surroundings. This is not only due to their cognitive impairment but also as a result of the changes related to their senses and perception. Such seniors may feel distressed and uncomfortable when in an unfamiliar situation and even become distracted in visually stimulating environments or due to high sounds or noise. That is why assisted living facilities offer all-inclusive care services to seniors with or dementia.
Assisted living senior care communities focus on creating an environment that is safe and promotes independence in dementia or Alzheimer’s patients. This helps to boost their quality of life and alleviates stress. Although there are dedicated memory care facilities that differ from assisted living communities, the latter follows a comprehensive approach to help seniors with any condition. Below are some of the unique therapies employed by assisted living facilities to help seniors with memory-related conditions.
Aromatherapy refers to a holistic healing treatment approach that involves using plant extracts and aromatic essential oils to promote the overall health of the body and mind. It is seen to benefit physical and emotional health in seniors, which helps them to relax and reduces the likelihood of difficult behaviors. Aromatherapy can also help to improve mood, reduce anxiety, lower agitation, and promote sleep in seniors with dementia.
Light therapy, which is also known as phototherapy in some cases, has lately emerged as a promising treatment for dementia patients. It helps to stimulate the brain chemicals that are associated with mood and sleep regulation, and promote a good night’s sleep in seniors. Light therapy can also be used to address the depressive symptoms of seniors, decrease agitation, and result in less daytime sleeping.
Using sensory stimulation therapy can help to trigger long-forgotten memories, stimulate positive emotions, as well as allow seniors to connect with their surrounding environment. Assisted living communities combine the sense of smell, taste, vision, and sound to create a proactive memory care therapy for helping seniors with dementia. For instance, they place memory boxes near their doors not only to help activate memories but also to allow senior residents to identify their rooms without any assistance.
Activities to Stimulate Memory
Aside from the aforementioned therapies, assisted living communities also focus on different types of activities to help stimulate memory and give a sense of purpose to seniors with dementia. This could range from cooking and baking activities to art sessions, music therapy, and many more. These activities not only help to stimulate memories, but also work to redirect attention, reduce agitation, and promote engagement and focus. In some cases, such activities at the senior care facility can also help to reduce the use of medication.
Assisted living facilities also use color and visual techniques to help senior residents with day-to-day activities. For instance, they place the toilets in front of brightly-colored walls to make them easier to see, while they also use color-ringed plates and cups to help seniors with dementia perform their everyday activities with more ease and independence. Apart from that, assisted living communities also ensure to employ different architectural and interior design elements to increase the comfort, safety, and dignity of their senior residents.
Some senior care facilities, even though designed as open-concept communities, create a specific “neighborhood” within the community grounds with distinct décor, color, and theme. They also have distinctive areas and color-coded walking paths to help seniors with dementia and memory problems navigate the community smoothly. Above all, they make sure to create a home-like feel in the assisted living facility so that seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia can enjoy quality time in the community.