Creative Approaches to Dementia Care

By Doris Kasold, 10:22 am on

When memory loss strikes a loved one in St. Pete, many family members feel helpless. As professional caregivers who specialize in dementia care, we understand that dramatic changes can be difficult to accept. To ease the transition, we encourage individuals to consider creative approaches, like sensory stimulation, art therapy, and baby doll therapy.

Sensory Stimulation

Individuals in St. Pete who have Alzheimer’s should engage in sensory stimulation every single day. This means, smelling, tasting, touching, seeing, and hearing. Whether you put on your loved one’s favorite record, look at and smell the flowers at Sunken Gardens, or provide a variety of textured fabrics for them to touch, you promote brain engagement.

Making Art

The Society for Art in Dementia Care is “built on the premise that older adults and people living with [memory loss] have the right to dignity, to be heard and to be valued.” Creative expression accomplishes this mission while stimulating the brain and giving an individual a sense of ownership and accomplishment. If your parent used to paint with oils or your spouse enjoyed felting, you can often start with former disciplines. If this is new territory, you have several options:

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Sculpting
  • Handicrafts
  • Collage

Not only are these artistic activities enjoyable, but they also provide mental stimulation. While creating artwork is an effective hands-on project, viewing creative works can also be powerful. To spark inspiration and fire the senses, spend an afternoon at the Dali Museum, look at Chihuly sculptures on Beach Drive, or check out local galleries, like the Morean. St. Pete has much to offer for those in dementia care programs who want to view inspiring works!

Baby Doll Therapy

It may seem strange to give your elderly parent in St. Pete a baby doll, but dementia care research shows that those with memory loss benefit from this creative approach. The dolls reportedly have a calming effect, and wandering and agitation are reduced. By having something to care for, they have an engaging outlet for attention and communication. If you are unsure about this method, we suggest that you introduce the doll to your family member. That way, you can observe whether they are genuinely interested in it. Be sure to give them time to adjust to the new object. You might be surprised to discover that they take on the new responsibility with zeal!

Home Care Assistance Tampa Bay for Dementia Care

At Home Care Assistance Tampa Bay, we provide a variety of caregiving services to families in and around St. Pete. From dementia care to post-hospital assistance, our staff members are dedicated to helping their clients experience a higher quality of life. We offer:

  • Hourly service
  • 24-hour and live-in caregivers
  • Stroke and Parkinson’s care
  • Hospice support
  • And more

If your loved one has memory loss, let our team assist you as you learn how to navigate this transition. Whether you’re local to Tampa Bay or live out of state, you are sure to find a program that fits your individual needs!

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