Memory Care Today: How Holistic Therapies Engage, Connect and Benefit Your Loved One

How Holistic Therapies Engage, Connect and Benefit Your Loved One

Are modern memory care medicines going to the dogs… and cats?

Memory care authorities such as the Mayo Clinic and the Alzheimer’s Association say the simple answer is YES. And for very good reason!

Lonette Bentley, Executive Director at Clarity Pointe Pensacola, opening this December in Pensacola, Florida, says, “At leading purpose-built memory care communities such as the beautiful new Clarity Pointe Pensacola, loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia receive the latest in enlightened memory care therapies.

“Commonly called ‘holistic’ therapies by memory care experts, these types of activities have been shown to improve a loved one’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Here at Clarity Pointe™ Pensacola, they are an important part of our life-enriching programs that provide each person with social engagement, fulfillment, inspiration and a life filled with enjoyment and purpose every day.”

How Holistic Memory Care Therapies Work to Enhance Well-Being

Memory care researchers explain that holistic therapies appear to create a portal or bridge to the outside world for those with memory loss. This enables them to experience a higher level of social engagement and self-expression that might have seemed impossible as their memory loss progressed.

Researchers and therapists say that holistic therapies can “reduce anxiety and agitation, open sensory channels and provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment that reinforces the individual’s dignity.”

Holistic Therapies You Can Use with Your Loved One at Home

Professional memory care therapists suggest trying the following types of beneficial holistic therapies with your loved one at home. They have been shown to enable at-home caregivers to connect with their loved ones in several helpful ways. For example:

  • Music –Memory care researchindicates that music is a particularly useful therapy that can increase cognitive function in those with dementia. Your loved one’s favorite music can provide a pleasant way for them to connect with the outside world, even after verbal communication has become a challenge. Music can reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle-stages of the disease. Even in the latter stages of Alzheimer's, a person may be able to sing lyrics to a song from their youth.
  • Art – Activities using art and drawing can enhance the health and well-being of loved ones with dementia in a variety of highly beneficial ways. Art therapy has been shown to improve mood, decrease agitation and outbursts, increase the ability for self-expression and communication and provide an important sense of accomplishment and purpose.

Learn more about the value of art and music therapy at “Music, Art and Alzheimer's.”

  • Pets and Friendly Animals – Pets have been found to have a soothing effect on loved ones with dementia by creating feelings of peace and calm while also helping to recreate pleasant memories of their own beloved pets. Dogs and other animals have a unique way of connecting with humans that offers a special sense of comfort, relaxation and well-being.

The Mayo Clinic article, “Pet therapy: Man's best friend as healer” offers more good information on the value of animal therapy.

  • Reminiscing –It has been shown that reminiscing about old friends, past events and pleasant memories is another useful way to keep your loved one engaged. Try going through old photo albums with your loved one, listening to their favorite music from their younger days and discussing fond memories.”

Alzheimer’s expert and author, Christine Kennard, says “For people with Alzheimer’s disease, encouraging the act of reminiscence can be highly beneficial to their inner self and their interpersonal skills. It is about giving the person with Alzheimer’s a sense of value, importance, belonging, power and peace.”

  • Aromatherapy –This form of therapy usesnatural scents and oils as well as pleasant, familiar smells to minimize anxiety, agitation and aggressive behavior.
  • Exercise and Physical Activity –Regular exerciseis good for general health and also provides a way for caregivers and their loved ones toreduce their physical and emotional stress while improving strength and balance. Memory care therapists say caregivers should try walking with their loved one to a favorite place.

Recent university research has also indicated that exercise might actually reduce and delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Enjoy Your Time Together –Continue to do the things your loved most enjoys for as long as they are able. Watch an old movie together or spend some time in the garden. Familiar activities are usually the most pleasurable to someone with Alzheimer’s. 

In addition, author Elayne Forgie, President and founder of the Alzheimer's Care Resource Center, says that sensory stimulation, such as an environment of pleasant sights, smells and sounds, will enhance your loved one’s well-being. Paintings and pictures on the wall, a wind chime outside the window, a bouquet of flowers for its color and fragrance and relaxing music on the radio can help to decrease your loved one’s agitation and restlessness as well as to improve their sleep.

Lonette adds, “By taking memory care experts’ advice and using the same types of holistic activities that we use at Clarity Pointe Pensacola, you can help your loved one to feel more calm and connected, and experience a greater sense of well-being.

“At Clarity Pointe, the loved ones we care for enjoy beautiful outdoor courtyards, participate in special classes and exercise programs, and enjoy planned activities and events. We create memory care communities that empower residents to live well and thrive.”

Serving Caregivers and Families with Important Memory Care Information and Support

At Clarity Pointe Pensacola, we offer more than exceptional memory care for loved ones, we are also a memory care resource for families. As we prepare for our grand opening this December, we invite you to visit our developing website often for more updates and information.

You can also view Clarity Pointe’s memory care articles and tips for at-home caregivers and families on a variety of helpful topics that you can use today. 

Clarity Pointe … Our Difference is Clear

Clarity Pointe’s Specialized Memory Care “Living” Neighborhoods are truly changing lives for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias – and for those who love them. At Clarity Pointe, our mission is to ensure our residents lead connected and rewarding lives.

Unlike other providers that offer a secure memory care wing in a skilled nursing or assisted living center, Clarity Pointe Pensacola offers three freestanding, purpose-built Memory Care communities that are solely and entirely dedicated to Memory Care Assisted Living. Our communities blend luxurious surroundings with specialized care that is individualized to each resident and delivered by a compassionate, expert team of professionals.

We stay current on the latest trends and advancements in Alzheimer’s care and implement them into our residents’ care plans. Always moving forward, we combine the latest in evidence-based programming with luxurious, residential living and compassionate respectful care. 

For each of our residents, we offer a life that is engaging, fulfilling, inspiring and meaningful.

To learn more about the Clarity Pointe Difference, contact us today!