An active, enriching social life positively affects cognitive health, especially in older individuals. Having fun with friends, learning new things, and engaging in your favorite activities keeps you happier, healthier, and sharper while in a memory care community.
Fun Activities in Memory Care Communities
Memory care communities provide many specialized therapeutic programs for residents who show early signs of memory loss, a condition termed “mild cognitive impairment.” There is a significant improvement in the attitudes and behaviors of residents who participate in these programs. However, remember that these communities might intend these programs for people with mild to moderate memory loss but are not ready for advanced memory care.
Resident participants are part of a small peer group that promotes success, friendship, and overall health. Because the group is small and close-knit, tailored programs with just the right amount of challenge for residents are ideal.
Knitting, doing puzzles, creating collages, making a memory box, folding laundry, painting, listening to music, and singing can all bring joy to memory care residents. The scale of the activity does not matter. However, participants engaging and enjoying the activity is more important. The main objective is to keep the activities and the attitude surrounding residents enjoyable, engaging, and free of failure.
The Science Behind Fun Activities in Memory Care
Remember the Reader’s Digest segment titled “Laughter is the Best Medicine”? When you or someone else laughs, your brain produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that functions as a natural mood stabilizer. It is also a chemical that aids sleep, eating, and digestion. Experts have also found that laughing can help decrease depression and worry. You begin to feel better about yourself and your surroundings due to laughter. Laughter is at the heart of every exercise in a memory care community group.
Dopamine, the “reward” chemical, is produced when you achieve a personal triumph, such as landing a beanbag in the hole during corn toss or cheering for someone else. You like that individual and like yourself. Because of dopamine, you also enjoy the moments of success, love being in a group, talking to your friends, and sharing the success with them. More positive hormones are released when you embrace someone or are positively touched. This time, it’s oxytocin, the “love” hormone. You will rejoice as a community together.
The Effect of Fun on Living Quality
Socialization is critical to new residents. You may have frequently suffered significant losses, such as losing a spouse, friends, home, or even your memory. But when in a memory care community, among friends daily, there’s a lot more to acquire. You gain new friendships, increase self-esteem, and, most significantly, hope, which can enhance your life quality in a memory care community.
Fun activities in memory care communities can help engage the mind with sensory stimulation. However, remember that these activities are more than just solving puzzles. It’s about giving hope and fulfillment to each resident, despite their condition. These activities can result in long-term benefits, mentally and physically. Being happy is just too good at any age!