Activities to Keep In-home Alzheimer’s Patients Engaged

Long Island is known for its famed beaches, award-winning wineries, and the historic Gold Coast Mansions. Unfortunately, since the percentage of individuals over 60 is rising in Long Island, it’s also home to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Center.

Caring for a loved one who is impacted by Alzheimer’s or dementia can be incredibly challenging. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it by yourself, and Long Island has a lot of skilled individuals that can help. Having professionals assist with Alzheimer’s in-home care in Long Island can help reduce some of your stress and worry, as well as keep your loved one happy and healthy. In addition to getting quality care, you also want to ensure that they are staying active and engaged.

One of the best ways for your loved one to stay active is to get out and take walks. However, winter weather in New York can be unpredictable and treacherous. You may not be able to take your loved one out as much to explore and get some fresh air, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep them active. Below are some ideas for activities for your loved one.

Brain with Alzheimer image

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain illness that gradually impairs thinking and memory abilities and the capacity to do even the most basic tasks. Symptoms of the late-onset of the condition typically begin to show in most patients in their mid-60s, which is the most typical cause of dementia. In some rare cases, the early onset of Alzheimer’s strikes between the ages of 30 and 60. 

Alzheimer’s disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who observed alterations in the brain tissue of a woman who had passed away from an uncommon mental illness in 1906. The woman suffered from memory loss, linguistic difficulties, and unpredictable conduct. He studied her brain after she passed away and discovered numerous strange clusters and tangled fiber bundles of the brain’s neurons.

These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered the leading causes of Alzheimer’s distinctive characteristics. Another characteristic is the brain’s loss of connections between nerve cells or neurons. Alzheimer’s disease is also thought to be influenced by various other intricate brain alterations. Memory-related brain regions are initially damaged, and then language, thought, and social behavior are eventually affected. Eventually, the brain’s many other areas suffer harm.

What are the Causes of Alzheimer’s?

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are still a mystery to science. Some of the attributable factors that contributed to the development of Alzheimer’s are smoking, poor cardiovascular health, and other risk factors, including heredity factors. Even while research is still in its early stages, it’s helpful to be aware of the telltale signs of the disease so you can work on avoiding its occurrence.

1. Alzheimer’s disease is significantly influenced by aging

  Although age is the most significant recognizable risk factor for Alzheimer’s, it does not cause the illness. Beyond 65, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease increases approximately every five years. Alzheimer’s disease may affect one-third of all people who are 85 or older. Scientists are still studying how the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease may result from age-related changes in the brain that impair neurons and other types of brain cells. These aging-related changes include the shrinking of specific brain regions, inflammation, vascular damage, the generation of unstable chemicals known as free radicals, and a decline in the ability of cells to produce energy.

2. Genetic Factors

  A person’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s is two to three times higher if they have a parent or sibling with the condition. Genetic factors are known to play a role in Alzheimer’s. Risk genes and deterministic genes are two types of genes that affect whether a person gets the condition. In both groups, genes related to Alzheimer’s have been discovered. Less than 1% of instances of Alzheimer’s are thought to be brought on by deterministic genes or genes that cause the disease rather than increase the risk of developing a disease.

3. Cardiovascular-Related Causes

  Heart and brain health are closely related, which means Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia will likely happen to those with heart disease or other associated illnesses. It is believed that conditions that harm the heart and blood arteries decrease blood supply to the brain, exacerbating the cognitive issues brought on by the accumulation of protein plaques and tangles. Dementia risk factors include coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, valve dysfunction, and heart failure. The risk of Alzheimer’s may decrease by preventing or controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

4. Head injury

Some cases of Alzheimer’s risk were linked to head injury. Wear your seatbelt and a helmet when you play sports, and “fall-proof” your home to protect your brain.

5. Health and Lifestyle Factors

A balanced diet, regular exercise, social interaction, adequate sleep, and mentally stimulating activities have all been linked to maintaining health as people age. Moreover, these elements may lower the risk of cognitive deterioration and Alzheimer’s disease. Higher education has also been associated in studies with a lower risk of dementia. 

Get Them Moving

Everyone needs exercise, and your loved one isn’t any different. Walking is always a great option, but it may not always be feasible. By getting help from professionals that offer Alzheimer’s in-home care in Long Island, even when the New York streets are icy and slushy, you can still get your loved one some much-needed exercise. If they have limited mobility and are confined to a chair, having them move their extremities is beneficial.

For example, they can lift their arms over their heads and wave them around, or you can gently toss small balls or pom-poms back and forth to one another. You might also consider batting a balloon back and forth. No matter what you decide, ensure it’s fun and engaging.

If they are more mobile, then you have other options to get them moving. Consider playing their favorite music and encouraging them to dance. You can also have them do some slow marching to the beat. This is a good way to help them with their balance and get some exercise. You might also consider doing some stretching or yoga.

Play Games

Playing games is a good way to keep your loved one engaged and using their mind. You have the option of playing board or card games, but if it seems too hard for your loved one to follow the action, then you might consider other options.

Since New York is always bustling with activity, consider placing them in front of a window and having them look for certain objects. This might include people wearing red hats, or you can have them count how many cabs drive by or how many times they hear a horn honk.

For an activity that requires some hand-eye coordination, you can have them screw nuts onto bolts and see how many they put together in 30 seconds or a minute. Or you can have them sort different screws or coins into piles. You might also consider putting together puzzles or coloring. These are great ways to encourage fine motor skills and have them focus on one particular task.

Keep Them Involved in Daily Tasks

One of the best activities you or an Alzheimer’s in-home care in Long Island professional can do is keep your loved one involved in daily care activities. New York is one of the fashion capitals of the world, so your loved one should always look their best. This includes having them pick out their outfit for the day or encouraging them to help you cook or bake. Not only will these tasks keep them active, but they may also spur memories of what they did in the past and encourage them to take care of themselves when possible.

Dealing with a loved one who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s can be challenging. Even with quality in-home care, it’s beneficial for family and friends to engage them in a variety of activities. There are several methods to achieve this goal, even when the New York weather or large crowds may overwhelm your loved one. Playing games or keeping them involved in daily tasks can help. The most important thing to remember is that your loved one should enjoy what they’re doing and stay safe during the process.