Alzheimer’s Disease and Seniors

Alzheimer's disease - CompassionCare Hospice of Las Vegas, Nevada

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which impairs behavior, memory, and thought. Alzheimer’s disease is an epidemic. More than 5 million Americans are living with the disease. When someone you love is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it affects you as well. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. There is no way to prevent or cure the disease. Dementia can cause seniors to withdraw from activities, family, and friends. But maintaining those relationships and interests reduces the effects of severe cognitive impairment, leading to a better quality of life.

1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The main risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease are age and gender. A woman is more likely to get Alzheimer’s than men. Women represent 2/3 of Americans living with Alzheimer’s. Researches previously thought this to be true because women tend to live longer that men. But scientists are finding there may be other contributing factors.

Here are 10 activities alzheimers.net recommends to do with your loved one. Certain activities may work better than others. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. A person may love the activity one day and hate it the next.

  1. Sing songs or play music.
  2. Do arts and crafts, such as painting or knitting. Keep tools and patterns simple.
  3. Organize household or office items, particularly if the person used to take pleasure in organizational tasks.
  4. Clean around the house. Sweep the patio, wipe the table, fold towels or try other household tasks that help the person feel a sense of accomplishment.
  5. Tend the garden or visit a botanical garden.
  6. Read the newspaper.
  7. Look at books the person used to enjoy.
  8. Cook or bake simple recipes together.
  9. Work on puzzles.
  10. Watch family videos.

These activities are about the process and not the results. The important thing is that you and your loved one enjoyed the time spent and felt useful too.