Discovering that you are suffering from memory loss can be very difficult. In fact, most people become agitated and panicked if they realize that they cannot remember someone, something or somewhere. Their stress level rises so they become frustrated or angry, or worse, they isolate themselves.
It is actually for this very reason that someone with dementia must be calmed and relaxed. And this can be done in various ways and strategies.
Activities And Techniques For Dementia Care
Breathing – This is indeed a good place to start for someone who is feeling stressed about their dementia symptoms. If you notice that the person is panicking, let them sit down and do some breathing exercises so they can calm down. Let them take a breath in through their nose and ask them to feel their stomach expand. If they breathe this way, you are sure that they are taking oxygen right into their lungs instead of taking shallow breaths that can only reach the top of the lungs. For a count of 3, ask them to breathe in. Let the air out slowly for a count of 5. Do this for 10 minutes a day or if they feel stressed out.
Visualization – Dementia patients will definitely struggle to remember a certain visualisation so you need to guide them through it. This activity will help reduce stress, boost confidence, and improve mood. Ask them to close their eyes and imagine a place where they may feel rested and relaxed like a warm room at home or a quiet beach. Let them focus on what they can see, smell, and hear. Spend approximately 5 minutes visualizing this place, and then slowly encourage them to bring themselves back into reality. Lastly, ask them to open their eyes.
Yoga and Tai Chi – These activities can be very beneficial to these patients since they are very holistic. They won’t just work efficiently for the body but also help with the mind-body connection. They have a system of belief and ways of thinking which can be very helpful to the patients. Yoga will include a series of poses and stretches. But aside from that, it also teaches mindfulness and breathing techniques. Tai Chi, on the other hand, has a system of beliefs surrounding how the energy moves around the body.
Massage – Touch is considered a very powerful therapy. Hence, massage can be very useful for people with dementia. Some of the benefits provided by this therapy will include improved mood, reduced stress, relaxation, and a reduced in the patients’ agitated behaviour.