An Alzheimer’s diagnosis or any signs of Alzheimer’s in your loved one can be challenging. Caregivers who have experience with Alzheimer’s disease know all too well just how difficult watching someone you love lose their memory and ability to live independently can be. The good news is that the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation and health caregivers who’ve studied Alzheimer’s disease agree that there are ways to slow Alzheimer’s symptoms by keeping people active.
If someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, there are things you can do to keep them busy and fit as they move through the clinical stages of Alzheimer’s. Not only will this give you more hope, but it will increase your chances of more time with them, too. For ways you can help your family member navigate Alzheimer’s by staying active, read on.
Getting the Facts
One of the best things you can do for someone you love with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is to get the facts from a credible source like alzinfo.org. On their website, you can find information about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, promising research, products that can help improve someone’s life, and information and resources for caregivers.
While on this important website, be sure to check out areas for research fundraising and ways you can encourage the senior you love to stay happy, fit, and active. This could start with something as simple as taking daily walks together, getting outside, or having weekly picnics, depending on your loved one’s symptoms.
Playing It Safe
Once you have the information you need to take care of someone with dementia, it’s a good idea to plan to keep them safe while you’re doing activities together. Start with things like arch support inserts, good footwear to decrease foot pain, walkers, and comfortable clothing to be sure the person you love is comfortable and safe as you take walks and enjoy time together.
Some caregivers have fun taking their loved ones to yoga classes, recreational centers, and the local swimming pool. Engaging in these activities together is a great way to keep your family member hopeful and give them a better quality of life no matter what their specific symptoms are.
Activities of Self-Care and Movement
No one can care for an Alzheimer’s patient alone. Consider reaching out to the people you trust most for help. In fact, encouraging group self-care activities can be a good way to keep your senior moving while getting a break yourself. Family gatherings with low-key activities like mini-golf or lawn bocce are a good way to have fun together and make memories.
Don’t forget to reach out to medical professionals and licensed caretakers, too. By reaching out to support teams for respites, day trips, and special event opportunities, your family member will get the socialization they need to stay active longer. Another place to consider reaching out to is your local town hall. Many communities have senior centers, senior daycares, and clubs for older residents. Being transparent about your family member’s diagnosis is a good way to determine if each group will be a good fit for the person you love.
At the end of the day, while you can’t do much to stop dementia, you can help the person you love navigate Alzheimer’s disease in the healthiest way possible by keeping them active and fit. Not only will this give you ways to bond, but it will help you to stay distracted and productive as you and your family make sense of the diagnosis. Best of luck to you and your loved one as you work together to make the most of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.