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Aging Adults with Dementia: How to Stimulate Their Senses

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For seniors living with dementia, sensory stimulation can help them communicate, engage, and recall memories. However, seniors with dementia are often isolated and lack the opportunity to engage the senses. Here are a few things caregivers can do to help seniors reconnect with their senses. 

Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can alleviate stress, induce sleep, and boost cognitive function. You can use essential oils to activate your loved one’s sense of smell. Lavender oil calms the nerves, and lemon balm oil prevents insomnia. Peppermint stimulates the mind, and rosemary boosts mood. To get the most out of aromatherapy stimulation, rub the oil on your loved one’s wrists or temples. You can also use a diffuser, which disseminates the scent throughout the room. 

Dementia and other forms of cognitive decline can make it difficult for older adults to age in the comfort of home. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Palm Desert home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Cook New Foods

Seniors with dementia often follow strict diets. Stimulate your loved one’s taste buds by cooking new meals. Many cultural cuisines use flavors and spices that may be new to seniors. Try making Spanish paella, traditional shrimp Creole, or Korean bibimbap. Many international cuisines can be made with healthy ingredients like lean protein and fresh vegetables. Seniors with dementia rarely get to experience anything new, but international cuisine is a simple, tasty way for them to gain new experiences. 

Play Music

Studies show listening to music is beneficial for seniors with dementia. Because music evokes strong emotions, it can bring back memories. Music therapy is even beneficial to people in the later stages of dementia, as they retain musical appreciation. Try playing your loved one’s favorite music. Songs from musicals may be especially effective, as they tend to be highly emotional.  

Have a Spa Day

Everyone deserves to be pampered occasionally. A spa day gives caregivers the opportunity to soothe seniors with the power of touch. A gentle hand massage can relax your loved one, and a calming foot bath may relieve his or her anxiety. Try to activate your loved one’s senses through the power of touch. Simple forms of contact like hugs, massages, and hand-holding can provide seniors with much-needed relief. 

Though sensory stimulation is an important part of dementia care, it’s also necessary to encourage seniors to socialize regularly. For families living in Palm Desert, CA, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Place Fresh Flowers Around the House

Seniors with dementia deserve to have something bright and pretty to look at every morning. A freshly cut bouquet of flowers is pleasing to the eyes and the nose, making it an excellent addition to any senior’s room. You can also place a few potted plants and succulents around the room. These brightly colored plants provide something stimulating to look at, exciting your loved one’s visual senses throughout the day.

Professional caregivers can help seniors with dementia stay comfortable at home by providing sensory and cognitive stimulation and assisting with daily tasks. In Palm Desert, California, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To create a comprehensive dementia home care plan for your loved one, call one of our professional Care Managers at (760) 345-0001 today.

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