Strategies for Family Time with Aging Parents With Alzheimer’s in San Diego.

One of the most difficult things for a family with aging parents with Alzheimer’s in San Diego is finding enjoyable activities appropriate for everyone. When your loved one is progressing through the stages of Alzheimer’s, it is easy to feel disconnected and even unloved.

To combat losing touch with your elderly loved one, a number of activities can be employed to touch their heart rather than their mind.  These activities can be enjoyed by all members of the family and may even help the younger ones to better cope with the condition of their loved one. Of course, you should seek professional help in caring for your aging family member in San Diego, since professionals will likely be able to give you even more ideas for ways to relate and enjoy your time together.

Many experts agree that one of the best ways of reaching the heart of an Alzheimer’s patient is through music. Almost any kind of music can be beneficial, and different music will affect the elderly in different ways.

  1. Play songs that your loved one is familiar with. Familiar songs rouse old feelings and break through old memories. Songs that would have been popular during their late teens and early twenties are likely to bring back many memories. Don’t discourage them from singing along, see if you can sing along with them. Watch closely how they respond to the music, if you notice them responding negatively, try another tune.
  2. Play songs that your loved one may not be familiar with. This can be especially helpful if you find familiar tunes to evoke a negative response.
  3. Play songs that promote the emotions you wish to stimulate in your loved one. Think about how different songs make you feel, remember that music can have a great calming or exciting effect on the listener. Perhaps if your loved one is feeling discouraged a up-beat song would be appropriate to lighten the mood. Or if they are agitated a slower, more mellow song should be played to calm the situation.

Whatever music you decide to play, feel free to participate in the music with them, and encourage your family to do likewise.  With the advice of your professional caregiver, it may even be possible to enjoy a concert with your aging parents. San Diego county has a number of indoor and outdoor venues where you can enjoy performances from a variety of artists.

Music is not the only way to your loved one’s heart, Alzheimer’s patients respond to a number of other activities that you can enjoy together. When choosing an activity, consider what they enjoyed doing during their early to late twenties. Something as simple as folding laundry could turn out to be quite an enjoyable activity. Taking a walk, or gardening are other ideas that you could use. Sometimes, just interacting with familiar objects, such as a deck of cards, is all they need to have a good time.

Above all, remember to always show them your love. There is no doubt that interacting with an aging parent can be difficult at times. Regular, stimulating activity helps to keep them in a positive mood, and helps your family express their love.

Originally posted 2011-09-29 06:43:42.

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Tim Colling

Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided
professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to HealthLine.com and to FamilyAffaires.com as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.

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