Dementia 101: Preventing Dementia with First & Main
Take Advantage of First & Main’s Facilities and Activities to Tackle Dementia
In the US alone there were 9.4 million people suffering from dementia in 2015, and according to the World Alzheimer Report, it is estimated that around 75 million people will live with this condition by 2030.
On a more positive note, research shows that there are certain activities that can help prevent dementia. Simple adjustments to one’s lifestyle can go a long way in improving one’s condition. Partaking in social activities and exercises that stimulate the mind, body and soul can help families safeguard their own future and well-being; while at the same time improving the lives of their loved ones with dementia.
While residents at First & Main can enjoy structured social activities with each other, the contribution from families and visitors is crucial. Engaging in communication, storytelling and reminiscing about the past and of course sharing a good laugh or two can be tremendously beneficial.
Those who are not fortunate enough to have frequent visitors have access to video chat facilities, allowing for interaction with their loved ones even if they live far away.
Exercise and Routine
Routine can be an important element for dementia patients, as it creates a sense of safety. Furthermore, the weekly bus outings provide regular exercise for the body, as well as stimulate the mind. This is an important part of the established routine, even if the weather is not favourable.
Visitors are also encouraged to take our residents out for a walk around the block, get some fresh air and enjoy being out in nature. Besides improving one’s mood, physical activity also improves blood flow and triggers the production of the so-called happy hormones, such as endorphin and serotonin. Thus, just a 40-minute-walk a couple of times a week brings everyone closer to a healthier life. And of course, keeping the body and mind occupied during the day contributes to a good night’s sleep which can also be an issue at times.
Hobbies and new skills
Residents are encouraged to take up hobbies and learn a new skill which they can do on their own accord, with the help from their families or by partaking in an organised group activity. One such activity is the weekly flower arranging class where residents use donated flowers from the nearby Family Fare and create table centrepieces for distribution around the community.
Pet therapy is one of the favorites at First & Main. It is scientifically proven that pets have a beneficial effect on people suffering from dementia. It improves their mood, helps their appetite and lowers their blood pressure.
While our caregivers dedicate their full attention, families and visitors play a very important role in encouraging our residents to improve their cognitive functions by playing board games and puzzles, and perhaps even help with learning a new language or how to play an instrument. Keeping the activities varied is important, but sticking to a routine is also key.
Remember, all they need is gentle encouragement. They should never feel pressured - and equally you should never feel disheartened, should you find them in a challenging mood when you visit.