Being a personal care assistant for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia has its advantages. It is a position of honor to help someone who has memory issues to maintain independence in their home. Even through the difficulties caretakers face, there is a certain dignity they can give their charge. As people age, maintaining their identity and hobbies is still important. Being a personal care assistant, you have the ability to help your client maintain regular recreational activities, keep them physically active and mentally stimulated. Here are some ways to keep the client occupied.
Play music for your client. Music is powerful for “waking up the brain”. Often times, singing or playing music can change moods and help to manage agitation. It can also produce positive interactions. Associations can be made through the music. While this is a great way to mentally stimulate someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, it can be a little unpredictable if the music stirs up sad or disturbing emotions. One way to help with this is to talk to the family or ask the client about music preferences when they are lucid .
Animal therapy is great for clients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Human interaction can be difficult with Alzheimer and Dementia patients, but animals have the potential to bring someone who doesn’t socially interact to start participating with those around. Clients may start to eat more or get physical activity when they’ve fought it previously. Therapy dogs are specially trained and vetted to ensure they won’t snap or cause any added anxiety.
These two forms of therapy can help bring a side of your client out despite the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia while under your care.