People who struggle with Alzheimer’s or dementia may need specialized memory care. Residents at the Mission at Agua Fria who need memory care are provided with safe passages and dedicated staff who can help folks with memory loss stay safe and avoid confusion. Additionally, there are all kinds of activities that memory care specialists know are stimulating, relaxing, and—most importantly—can help slow the progress of memory diseases.
1. Art Therapy
Art therapy is a great activity for memory care patients because it’s entertaining and relaxing, regardless of the person’s level of skill or cognitive ability. Residents can choose the medium they’d like to work in, whether that’s drawing, music, or collage. Even for folks who are not artistically inclined, art therapy provides a chance at self-expression and the practice of fine motor skills.
Many artistic skills, like painting or playing an instrument, draw on long-lasting muscle memory, so the talent persists even as other areas of cognitive ability decline. Not only does this connect the patient more deeply with themselves and their idea of their own identity, but it also produces a strong feeling of accomplishment. Art therapy also engages the memory care patient with a sense of their community. They can share their creations with the other folks in their group, which can help them feel closer and better understood.
2. Pet Therapy
Animal-assisted therapy has dozens of well-documented benefits for the general population as well as benefits that are particularly beneficial to folks in memory care. Pet therapy is known to lower blood pressure, decrease loneliness and depression, and encourage physical activity. In memory care, residents can pet the soft fur of a cat or dog. The staff is present to help residents who have difficulty with fine motor skills, even just watching puppies play outdoors increases overall feelings of happiness. All Mission residents in Peoria have the opportunity to benefit from animal-assisted therapy.
3. Sensory Integration
Memory care experts work to engage all five of their patients’ senses. Smell, for instance, is strongly connected to memory. The smell of Christmas trees, coffee, or roses for instance can help patients connect to lost memories more quickly than sights and sounds. In taste and scent therapy, memory care patients may decide to recreate a beloved recipe from their childhood or work with an aromatherapist to find scents that trigger warm memories.
Tactile stimulation is important as well. Memory care experts at the Mission at Agua Fria can help patients assemble texture boards. Sometimes these are a resident’s personal items, like a beaded dress or a favorite tie pin. Other times, the board assembles different textures: rough sandpaper, carpet, silky fabric, or fur-like material.
The community at the Mission at Agua Fria in Peoria knows that memory care has come a long way and that there are a lot of cognitive therapies to keep memory care patients healthy and engaged. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.