We often hear about therapeutic activities that are beneficial for the person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia but it’s just as important to consider their care partner – the caregiver.
Living successfully with the disease requires that both care partners enjoy therapeutic enrichment that benefits their mind, body, and spirit.
But because the caregiver is often the only person caring for their loved one, it is difficult for them to find time to enjoy activities that are beneficial for them as well.
There are activities that can be done together that simultaneously meet the needs of the caregiver while providing beneficial sensory stimulation for the person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia:
Nature has a way of soothing our soul. Whether it’s the fresh air on our face, the sounds of birds chirping, or the smell of a flower field there is a healing effect from spending time outdoors.
Taking walks together, visiting the beach, or going to a local farm are ways to get closer to Mother Nature.
Animals are often used in therapy. Dogs, cats, llamas, and even horses have been proven to have positive effects on a person’s demeanor. Aside from spending time with the family pet, some communities have ranches where visitors can feed and pet the animals.
Some horse ranches, for instance, focus entirely on helping people with unique needs such as dementia or autism.
Music definitely tops the list with how it can instantly impact a person’s mood and bring back a flood of memories. Beyond simply listening to music, the care partners can dance, sing, and even shake maracas together.
Hobbies & Crafts are a great way to create something together that will continue to provide joy to others for years. Whether it’s crocheting a blanket or painting a picture, the feeling of accomplishment by making something that others can use or appreciate is very rewarding.
These keepsakes often stay with the family and provide cherished memories for generations.
Aromatherapy can accompany a hand massage and some soft music to create a spa-like atmosphere. The care partners can relax and “wash away” their anxiety while potentially improving their mental clarity.
These are just some of the things that care partners can do together that yield a therapeutic benefit for both individuals. These suggestions generally provide a relaxing atmosphere while also promoting a happy relationship.
Tell us what activity you do with your loved one that is beneficial to both of you.