Staying active is an important part of managing dementia. Physical activity has a host of benefits for those with dementia, including cognitive repair, independent functioning and overall well-being. The sports don't have to be strenuous to have a positive impact. Activities such as nature walks, golf and swimming are suitable for various levels of physical activity. For those who also want to increase their mobility, which is affected in later stages of dementia, light stretching exercises such as chair Pilates can help.
Over time, our working memory declines, and when this includes dementia, the decline can happen faster and more severely. Memory games can help the brain create new neurological pathways through a process called neuroplasticity. This process allows those with brain injuries or diseases such as dementia to slow down the progression and, in some cases, even reverse it.
Studies show that musicians are 64% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Studies also show that music, whether playing an instrument or singing, leads to boosts in memory and thinking skills. Music also alleviates stress and anxiety, which leads to a better quality of life and overall well-being. There's also the option to pursue music in a social setting such as choirs, which promotes social engagement and is highly beneficial to those with dementia.
Knitting, crocheting and fly-tying all help with concentration and improving hand and finger dexterity. These mindful hobbies are also simple, repetitive tasks that improve relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, these activities can be performed in groups, which helps improve social connections.
While cooking is a necessary activity in terms of survival, it's also an enjoyable activity that's often associated with happy memories and events. Cooking is a great way for those with dementia to enjoy a nutritious meal and engage in a fun activity. It's also a way to engage in sensory stimulation therapy, which keeps those with dementia in touch with their surroundings. By engaging in the cooking process, they're more likely to eat a nutritious meal. Studies show that appetite is often affected by dementia. A healthy appetite leads to better muscle tone and vitality.
Life with dementia doesn't mean living in isolation. Many organizations have noticed the importance of making their facilities more accessible. For instance, there are museums that take great care in the design, layout and choice of displays to ensure they're dementia-friendly. These group activities stimulate social interactions and improve the overall quality of life for those with dementia.
Gardening is a powerful way to engage someone with dementia. It provides the opportunity to be physically active, enjoy nature and create an environment that soothes or nourishes. For those with dementia, all of these factors play an important role in cognitive repair. Research shows that gardening can improve the long-term and procedural memories. For those with dementia, it can also stimulate emotional memory. Additionally, gardening is a suitable pastime for many of the stages of dementia.
Art is one of the best ways to engage someone with dementia. This is because art can be practiced at every skill level and through many of the dementia stages. Art is a psychosocial intervention for those with dementia, which means it relies on the enjoyment of creating artwork and social engagement to be effective. Moreover, creating art requires no memory of previous art skills. It's a fluid activity that can change and adapt to the needs and current skills of the person creating it.
Reading is a form of brain training, which is important for cognitive function. While there's no conclusive evidence that it can reverse or slow down dementia, researchers believe readers and those who participate in cognitive activities can delay the onset of Alzheimer's by 5 years. Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common causes of dementia.
Dancing is a wonderful social activity that allows the participant to experience fun and a sense of elation. It's also a great physical activity that promotes overall health and well-being. Dancing doesn't require any previous memory to be a fun and stimulating activity for those with dementia. It improves physical and cognitive function and the overall quality of life.
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