Good morning and welcome today’s Monday Mojo.Have you heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? It is a psychological theory that ranks human needs in the form of a pyramid. The theory considers physiological and safety (food, water, warmth, rest) as “basic needs” at the bottom of the pyramid.
Further up in the hierarchy are other essential needs that people strive for once their basic needs are satisfied, including the need for love, self-esteem, and belonging.
At the top of the hierarchy is the need for self-actualization, or achieving one’s full potential, through enjoyable activities. These needs, especially the need to feel loved, included, and valued, should be seen as equally important for people living with dementia as they are for all of us.
While dementia is characterized by many declines and limitations, and it may sometimes be hard to see past these challenges, not all abilities are lost, especially in the early and middle stages of the disease. People with dementia are capable of making meaningful contributions and experiencing joy. Providing opportunities to facilitate such experiences is essential.
Today we want to share some fun activities you can do at home this week:
- Create an art project. Art for individuals with dementia and their caregivers has shown to improve quality of life and reduce some of the behavioral and emotional symptoms of dementia.
- Create music. People with dementia may enjoy creating music (singing or playing an instrument) and listening to their favorite tunes. The ability to play an instrument is an ability that may remain relatively constant, even as the disease progresses. And although adults with dementia may be unable to recall names or dates, they may still remember the music they’d played or listened to throughout their lives.
- Exercise. Physical activity is beneficial for physical and mental health and can improve mood and quality of life in individuals in all stages of the disease. Walking, gardening, seated exercises, and dancing are all fun things to try at home.
- Create a memory box. Creating a memory box is a form of reminiscence therapy. Fill it with things that mean a lot to your loved one and spend time discussing the various items and what they mean to them.
- Play Games. There are several games, products, and mobile apps on the market designed to help facilitate communication and stimulation for individuals with Alzheimer’s. Some popular games include:
Early/Middle stages of dementia
- Shake Loose a Memory, a game that provides prompts to stir positive memories
- Thumball, a memory game that also works on hand/eye coordination and dexterity
Middle/ Late Stages of Alzheimer’s
- Qwirkle, a Dominoes-like tile game
- “I Got It” card game
All of these games can be purchased on Amazon.
You may also want to play more traditional games, such as dominoes, cards, and checkers, as the person with dementia is more likely to remember how to play from when they were younger. Playing games together can be a good way to facilitate interaction and a greater sense of connection between the caregiver and the care receiver.
If you would like to speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, call us at 561-588-4545. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you again next week.