It can be a big surprise when a senior parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But, taking action quickly after getting the diagnosis will help your senior parent retain their current cognitive level for as long as possible. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, so time is important. If your senior parent starts therapy and cognitive enrichment activities right away after diagnosis, there is a better chance that they can slow down the progression of the disease.

After the diagnosis, take a breath. Take several breaths. But then sit down with your senior parent and talk about ways that you can help them take action to keep their cognitive skills strong. Some things that are recommended for seniors to do after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis are:

Get Alzheimer’s Care

Alzheimer’s care is specialized care designed to meet the needs of seniors at every stage of Alzheimer’s. The caregivers that provide Alzheimer’s care are trained in methods of keeping seniors engaged and helping them make the most of the cognitive skills they currently have. Talk with a local care agency about the benefits of Alzheimer’s care soon.

Prioritize Hobbies That Stimulate The Brain

Stimulating the brain through activities that challenge cognitive abilities is something that seniors with Alzheimer’s should do daily. Doing puzzles, playing memory games, and trying crafts like painting, knitting, or sewing are all great things for seniors to do to keep their minds active.

Get Regular Exercise

Physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive function. Encourage your senior parent with Alzheimer’s to get some activity daily such as walking, swimming, or gentle stretching exercises. Physical activity promotes blood flow to the brain, which can have positive effects on cognitive health.

Eat Brain Foods

Nutrition plays a crucial role in overall health, including brain health. Your senior parent should switch to a diet that includes a lot of foods that can improve brain health like foods with Omega-3 fatty acids, including fish and nuts.

Create A Structured Routine

Establishing a daily routine can provide a sense of predictability for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Consistency in daily activities, meal times, and sleep patterns can help reduce confusion and anxiety, contributing to the preservation of cognitive function.

Learn Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Practices such as meditation and relaxation exercises can help manage stress, which can be detrimental to cognitive health. Mindfulness techniques can promote a sense of calm, improve focus, and contribute to overall mental well-being for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Encourage your senior parent to try meditation, or go to a meditation class with them.

Enroll in Music Therapy

Music has a powerful impact on cognitive function and emotional well-being. Research shows that seniors with Alzheimer’s who participate in music therapy, including listening to familiar tunes or playing music, may be able to slow down the progression of the dementia. Music can evoke memories, enhance mood, and stimulate cognitive processes.

Get Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy will help seniors with Alzheimer’s build up muscle memory and improve skills like fine motor control as well as helping them with cognitive health. Occupational therapy can help seniors stay physically mobile as well as helping them with cognitive skills.

Get Regular Medical Check-ups

Regular health check-ups are crucial for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Addressing any underlying health issues promptly can contribute to overall well-being and may indirectly support cognitive function. Ensure that medications are managed effectively and are regularly reviewed by healthcare professionals.

Get Support For Yourself

Caring for a senior parent with Alzheimer’s isn’t easy and you need support too. Join a support group, get individual counseling, or just get some respite care and take some time off to process your emotions.

If you or an aging loved one is considering Alzheimer’s care in Minnetonka, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.