Living with dementia doesn’t prevent your senior parent from interacting with other people. Your loved one can continue to enjoy social activities that bring him or her joy and boost his or her cognitive health. Below are some ways socialization can slow the progression of dementia.
Keeps the Brain Active
Inactivity is one of the top factors associated with the progression of dementia. Seniors who shy away from social interactions are less likely to hold conversations with others or participate in games and other fun activities that stimulate their minds and boost their brain health. As a result, their cognitive functions may begin to decrease rapidly. Inactivity also causes memory problems to worsen and takes away independence. Create fun ways for your parent to stay socially active, and simplify outings and activities based on his or her limitations and preferences.
A professional caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for your loved one. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. Lehigh Valley families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Stress hormones such as cortisol can make memory problems worse and lead to other issues, such as combative behavior and depression. Keep in mind that stress also affects the immune system, which plays a significant role in dementia’s progression. Socialization is one of the best ways to ease anxiety and help your parent stave off mental problems. Isolation can push your loved one’s energy inward, but socializing with family members or other seniors can direct that energy outward and boost his or her confidence. Talking to friends, participating in arts and crafts, playing musical instruments with the grandkids, or watching television with you and your siblings could help your loved one manage stressors and ease his or her mind.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
If attending a family dinner each week is something your loved one enjoys, try to keep this social gathering going. Even if your loved one has difficulty remembering specific people or things, merely going to dinner at the same location and time could provide familiarity and a sense of comfort. Your loved one may look forward to the outing, even if he or she isn’t cognitively aware of what’s going on while attending the gathering. Continuing with social outings that don’t put your loved one’s health and safety at risk is a great way to trigger memories and positive thoughts.
Provides a Sense of Belonging
Many seniors living with dementia lose confidence and don’t feel as secure as they did in the past. However, socialization is a way to boost your parent’s self-esteem and provide him or her with a sense of belonging. When interacting with other people, your parent can have a sense of control, and it may encourage him or her to trust his or her judgment more. Never take your loved one around people who don’t offer respect or value his or her opinion, as this could affect his or her mental and emotional health and cause symptoms associated with dementia to worsen. Being around people who respect him or her could make your loved one feel dignified and motivate him or her to take on more social activities.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional caregivers. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lehigh Valley live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at 484-350-3874.