5 Beneficial Activities For Those Living With Dementia

Author Bio - Michael Dehoyos is a health writer and editor. Throughout his career, Michael has assisted several companies in developing and implementing marketing strategies. Michael enjoys writing for online health and marketing publications in his spare time. Many of his writings can be found at Origin Writings.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 50 million people worldwide are currently suffering from some form of dementia. As many people know, dealing with a loved one or close friend suffering from dementia can be very trying emotionally.

In the early stages, most forms of dementia appear mild, and sufferers may only experience mild symptoms. However, as the disease progresses, it can leave people unable to recognize their own friends and family.

One of the saddest aspects of dementia is that there is no current cure, and the best that can be done for sufferers is to try and help manage the progression. Although research has not found any effective treatments, scientists and researchers have determined that some mental exercises can help slow down the progression and keep sufferers more engaged.

5 Activities...

1. Walking

Health researchers have known for a while that physical activity is good for mental health and can help slow the progression of some cognitive diseases. Although the exact mechanism by which this works is still the subject of much debate, many researchers believe it has something to do with increased blood flow to the brain.

The benefits of walking can be compounded if the walking is done in the company of a friend, family member, or anyone who is willing to have a conversation about the past.

2. Sudoku

For anyone who is unaware, Sudoku is a logic/puzzle-based game that involves using basic mathematics to fill a 9x9 grid with numbers. Although most people see it as a hobby or a way to pass the time, many mental health professionals recommend it to patients suffering cognitive decline. The theory is that the more time one spends using and sharpening their mental faculties, the slower they will lose them. "Researchers have also observed that individuals who spend much of their time doing nothing tend to progress faster than those who keep both their mind and body occupied," writes Jeremy Pavon, a health writer at 1 Day 2 write and Write my X.

3. Create a Memory Box

As many may have guessed, a memory box is simply a box filled with items from a person's past. It doesn't really matter what the items are as long as they have some direct and easily rememberable connection to the individual's past. Typically, the family of the person with dementia will take some time to put together a memory box, taking care to fill it with items from different stages of the individual's life. Once this is complete, the box is presented to the person in question, and they are left to rummage through it.

Memory boxes have proven to be quite effective because the brain is known to heavily associate memories with items that were of importance to the individual. Although not a great deal of study has been done on the effect of memory boxes, anecdotal reports indicate that they have a noticeable positive benefit.

4. Untie Knots

Knot tying requires the use of spatial working memory and intelligence and appears to help people living with dementia. The premise behind the therapeutic nature of knot tying is that it requires the individual to formulate a strategy and follow through with it. Aside from this, it is also an activity that doesn't require any knowledge or information to engage in. One of the main issues dementia sufferers face when playing games or engaging in activities is their mental state often leads to confusion and/or frustration. "Sometimes, this can result from forgetting the rules, whereas other times it can result from the standard confusion that usually accompanies dementia. Regardless of the cause, mental health professionals have noted how therapeutic untying knots can be for those who suffer from cognitive decline and diseases." writes Harry Francis, a writer at Brit Student and Next coursework.

5. Listening To Music

As one moves through the stages of life, they put together a catalogue of different songs that they find pleasing. As most people can attest to, songs often remind people of a time period, place, and others, and it is this fact that can make listening to music an enjoyable activity for anyone suffering from dementia.

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