submitted by Julianne Hart, The Birches at Newtown Personal Care and Memory Care, www.thebirchesatnewtown.com
If you have a loved one living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you know their behavior can become challenging as the stages progress.
With each passing day, a new symptom may develop – loss of sleep, trouble speaking, confusion, irritability, depression and anxiety – making it harder for your loved one to find comfort.
Trying these techniques may help them achieve relaxation:
Breathe. Controlled deep breathing is a popular (and widely used) exercise. Begin with your loved one sitting comfortably. Instruct them to inhale slowly through their nose while making sure their chest and belly expands. Then, exhale slowly. Repeat with them until calm.
Play a song. Music therapy helps promote socialization, memory recollection and movement. Choose your loved one’s favorite song to boost their mood or help them relax at night with a soothing melody.
Dig in the dirt. Tending a garden helps your loved one reconnect with positive emotions they may no longer experience. Don’t have a garden? Go for a walk.
Cuddle a pet. Animal-assisted therapy is known to reduce stress, boost mood and encourage calmness.
Stimulate the mind. Playing cards and doing crossword puzzles helps keep the brain active and creates a diversion for anxiety triggers.
There are plenty more relaxation techniques you can practice with your loved one. Other examples include tai chi or yoga, gentle hand massages and using aromatherapy.
If you’re thinking about moving your loved one to a Memory Care community, do your research.
Before making a decision, schedule an appointment and take a tour.
A Memory Care community needs to provide a structured routine and activities scheduled should promote relaxation through various therapies, like those mentioned above.