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Posts Tagged ‘alzheimers’

Sundown Syndrome: Dealing with Alzheimer’s

Sundown SyndromeSundown syndrome, also called “sundowning”, is characterized by increased restlessness and/or agitation beginning in the late afternoon or evening and often continuing throughout night. It can affect all kinds of people, and even animals, but it is especially prevalent in older people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

What Causes Sundown Syndrome?

No one is entirely sure what causes sundown syndrome, but experts believe that the degeneration of brain cells associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s might disrupt the production and/or reception of hormones in our body telling us when we should be awake and when we should sleep. Other possible causes include fatigue, hunger and/or thirst, pain, depression, or even boredom.

Symptoms of Sundown Syndrome

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you might want to keep a lookout for symptoms of sundown syndrome later in the day, especially as the sun starts to set and make the transition from day into night. Symptoms include increased agitation, pacing, and even yelling.

While it can be difficult to bear the brunt of what feels like personal attacks from your loved one, it’s important to understand the reasons behind why they might be acting that way. In many cases, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s tend to lash out when they are especially confused. Realizing you don’t remember where you are or what’s going on is a terrifying sensation, and it’s possible that your loved one might lash out verbally, or even physically, when feeling confused.

How to Cope with Sundown Syndrome

As difficult as it can be, especially when family members are involved, it’s important not to take it personally when your loved one with dementia lashes out at you. Remember that it’s less likely to be about you and more likely to be about something else they find confusing or upsetting and you just happened to be a convenient target for their agitation.

Remain calm and try to get to the root of what’s causing their confusion. Try to reassure them that everything is OK and to distract them from whatever it is that might be upsetting them. Keeping their favorite snack handy can be a great way to distract them, and if hunger is a trigger of their sundown syndrome, then you could be killing two birds with one stone by feeding them.

Other tips for coping with sundown syndrome include removing other triggers of anxiety and agitation. You’ll get a feel for what these triggers are for your loved one as their disease progresses, but some common ways to avoid or reduce the symptoms of sundown syndrome include reducing noise and/or clutter, and/or reducing the number of people in the room. While it might sound like fun to bring the whole family for a visit, the reality can be overwhelming for someone who doesn’t always recognize the people surrounding them, so working with other members of the family to make sure you all get a chance to visit with your loved one at different times can often prove most beneficial to everyone involved.

While caring for aging loved ones can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why our goal at Stillwater Senior Living is to provide your loved one with the best care possible so you can go about your life without having to worry about them, which means your visits can be spent on more quality time with your loved one. Reach out now if you have any other questions about how we can help your loved one age in place.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Alzheimer’s and dementiaMany people talk about Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably, so it should come as no surprise that there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the differences between the two. They both involve a decline in mental faculties, including memory, communication, and the ability to perform daily tasks. That said, Alzheimer’s and dementia are not interchangeable, so we’re going to go over the differences between them.

Syndrome vs Disease

Dementia is a broad term that is used to describe a wide range of diseases and symptoms, and it can be caused by a variety of conditions – Alzheimer’s just happens to be the most common one.

Alzheimer’s is short for Alzheimer’s Disease, and while it is a form of dementia, dementia itself is not a disease – it’s a syndrome. While patients need a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, there is no diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is defined as a group of symptoms that affect the person’s mental faculties, but there is no definitive diagnosis of dementia.

Age

Although dementia and Alzheimer’s are both associated with old age, young and middle-aged people have been known to show symptoms of both dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s also important to remember that neither one is considered a normal part of aging.

Mixed Dementia

People can have more than one type of dementia at one time. This is known as mixed dementia, and is usually caused by the person having multiple conditions that contribute to dementia. Unlike Alzheimer’s, mixed dementia can only be diagnosed by autopsy.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

Alzheimer’s and dementia have some symptoms in common, which is the main reason people tend to get them confused. They both involve impaired mental faculties, particularly when it comes to memory and communication, and they can both lead to behavioral changes, often fueled by confusion and frustration.

But Alzheimer’s has some symptoms that dementia does not, mostly pertaining to mood swings and behavioral changes. However, in the most advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, patients can lose the ability to walk, speak, and even swallow as the parts of their brain that control those motions decay, which does not happen with dementia.

Causes of Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

One of the biggest differences between Alzheimer’s and dementia is their causes. While Alzheimer’s is largely genetic, dementia can be caused by a combination of genetics and/or an infection, such as HIV, metabolic disorders/hypoglycemia/tumors, depression and/or chronic drug use, and vascular disease and/or stroke.

Treatment

Because dementia and Alzheimer’s have different causes, the treatments for each depend on what’s causing the problem. There is some overlap in the way they’re both treated, but there are also some key differences.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, although there are drugs to treat the symptoms, namely antipsychotics, drugs to help with the memory loss, sleep, and depression and mood swings. Alternative treatments include fish oil or coconut oil, both of which have been shown to boost overall cognitive function.

Some forms of dementia can be cured, depending on the cause. If the cause is genetic, as with Alzheimer’s, then there isn’t much hope (yet). If, on the other hand, the dementia is caused by something else, then treating the root cause often does result in improved symptoms of dementia. Tumors, hypoglycemia, drug use, and metabolic disorders are some of the causes of dementia that respond best to treatment.

If you have any other questions about Alzheimer’s or dementia, we’re happy to help.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Assisted Living

Valentine’s Day in Assisted LivingIt’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, and we see absolutely no reason for residents in assisted living to be left out. If you’re planning on spending the day with your loved one in assisted living this year, we have some ideas regarding how you can make the day special for them.

  • Decorate

The first thing you need to do is set the mood. That could mean pink and white streamers, hearts on the walls, pink and white balloons, and/or faux stained glass. Get creative, and don’t forget to dim the lights in the evening. Nothing sets the mood like the right lighting.

  • Movie Night

Put in their favorite romantic movie and watch it with them. There are plenty of classic romantic comedies that have withstood the test of time, but there are also modern rom coms they might like just as well. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s something you can enjoy together. Few things provide opportunities to bond like watching a movie together.

  • Crafts

Making Valentine’s Day cards is not just a school activity for kids. It’s a great way for people to express how they feel at any age, so consider doing some Valentine’s Day crafts with your loved one in assisted living this year, and remember that it doesn’t have to be just cards. You can get festive with food as well, including Valentine’s Day fruit kabobs, sweetheart cookie bouquets, and heart-shaped toast.

  • Valentine’s Day Bingo

Who doesn’t love bingo? Make it Valentine’s Day themed by using Hershey’s Kisses to mark the squares as they play or give them red and pink markers to color in their squares. You can also make the bingo squares themselves Valentine’s Day themed by labeling them with the titles of romantic comedies and/or romance songs instead of numbers.

  • Cook for Them

Nothing says “I love you” like cooking a meal for someone. Bring everything you need to make their favorite dish, and for bonus points you can turn it into a shared experience by having them help you prepare the meal. That way it becomes a bonding experience you can share together, while also making your loved one feel useful and included instead of like an invalid who relies on other people to wait on them.

Whatever your plans are for this Valentine’s Day, make sure you ask your loved one’s assisted living community first to see what activities they have planned. Go over the schedule with your loved one and see what grabs their interest and what doesn’t. Their enthusiasm for certain activities might change over the course of the week, or even the day, depending on their situation, but you’re always better off getting their input before making any plans for them.

If you’re wondering what we’ll be doing for Valentine’s Day this year, you can always reach out and ask us.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Could We See a Cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020? An Update on the Latest Research

Cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020?A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is one of the scariest scenarios imaginable, not just because there are few things more frightening than losing our mental faculties, but also because there is currently no cure for the disease. But researchers have been hard at work for decades trying to find a cure, and recent discoveries could bring us a cure sooner than you might think.

Our Genes

The first factor that determines your likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s in the first place is your genes. Most people know that if they have a relative with Alzheimer’s, they’re significantly more likely to develop the disease themselves, so we know genes play a large role in determining who comes down with Alzheimer’s and when.

On the one hand, we have the presenillin 1 gene, and we know that people with a mutation in that gene are significantly more likely to develop early-onset Alzheimer’s, meaning they start to show early symptoms in their mid to late forties and have full-blown Alzheimer’s in their fifties.

On the other hand, we have the APOE gene, which is linked to regular, late-onset Alzheimer’s and has three different forms that are most commonly seen. Roughly three in four people have APOE3, about one in five people have APOE4, and only about one in ten have APOE2.

We already knew that people with an APOE4 gene were 3x to 4x more likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people who only have the APOE3 gene. On the other hand, if you have on APOE2 gene, you’re slightly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people with only APOE3 genes. But a mutation of the APOE4 gene has recently been discovered and it could change everything.

Harvard researchers have been studying a very large family in New Zealand with the presenillin 1 genetic mutation that predisposes them to early-onset Alzheimer’s. Many of them have, in fact, developed early-onset Alzheimer’s, but one woman didn’t show symptoms of Alzheimer’s until she was in her 70s. Although she had the presenillin 1 genetic mutation, she also had an unusual mutation in her APOE gene, which has been named APOE3Christchurch (APOE3ch) after the New Zealand city in which the mutation was discovered. Furthermore, this woman had two versions of this same mutation, meaning she inherited it from both her mother and her father, and researchers think it could be the key to her resistance to Alzheimer’s.

Our Proteins

In addition to our genes, another factor in developing Alzheimer’s has to do with a protein in the brain, called tau, which is responsible for destroying brain cells. Researchers think that tau builds up in the brain after amyloid protein forms plaque in the brain, but this woman in New Zealand has a relatively small amount of tau in her brain, despite the fact that her brain was full of abnormal amyloid plaques (even more so than most people with Alzheimer’s).

Researchers suspect that this woman’s APOE3ch mutation could be the key to the relatively small amounts of tau built up in her brain. This research is still in the preliminary stages, but so far, they have been able to create a special protein in the lab that mimics the effects of the APOE3ch mutation and reduce the uptake of tau in the brain.

We probably won’t see a definitive cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020, since researchers have to conduct experiments to make sure they can reproduce the results before they can put anything on the market, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Relocate Your Aging Parents

relocate your aging parentsMoving is a stressful process even for the young and able bodied. No one likes to pick up their whole lives and move from a well-known home to a strange place, but those feelings of fear and discomfort tend to increase as we age, and can be compounded by confusion when suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Although declining mental faculties are probably the reason you need to relocate your aging parents into assisted living, it can also make the move itself much more challenging for you and your parents. Here are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly.

  • Communication

The key to successfully overcoming any challenge that involves working with other people is communication. This doesn’t mean you won’t disagree about what has to happen or how certain things need to be done, but by keeping the lines of communication open, you can avoid surprises and a certain amount of conflict. Even if your parents don’t like the idea of moving, it’s important to keep them involved in the process so they can maintain as much control as possible.

  • Decide on a Place

Keeping Step 1 in mind, it’s important for you and your parents to agree on a place together. Given all the factors that need to be considered, including cost, location, and level of care, it might not be possible for everyone to agree on what the best place for your parents is, but again, it’s important to get their input so you can reach as much of a consensus as possible.

  • Create a Plan

Once you’ve decided on a place and you have a move-in date, you need to plan out everything that needs to get done between now and that move-in date. When are you going to start packing? What are you packing and what are you putting in storage/giving away? If your parents have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, you might want to give yourself extra time to go through it all and decide what’s worth keeping and what should be tossed. Set a packing date and stick to the plan. Even if your parents are resistant at first, laying out a plan and attacking the moving process one step at a time will make moving day much easier on both you and your parents.

  • Get Everyone Involved

The responsibility of taking care of aging parents often ends up falling on one or two children, even when there are several siblings in the family. In order to make sure you aren’t the only person responsible for moving your parents, get as many family members involved as possible. Not only will this help lighten the load, it’s also a great way to remind your parents how much everyone cares about them. Most people are afraid of getting put in assisted living and being forgotten by their friends and family, so getting everyone involved is one way to assure your parents that’s not going to happen.

  • Help Them Settle In

Once you’ve helped your parents unpack and arrange everything to their liking in their new home, be sure to visit them regularly, but not too often. Again, you want to let them know they won’t be forgotten, but you don’t want to smother them or become overbearing.

If you have any other questions about the move-in process, we’re happy to help.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Why You Should Not Visit Someone in Assisted Living When You’re Sick (and What to Do Instead)

Should Not Visit Someone in Assisted Living When You’re SickCold and flu season is officially here in the Midwest, which means many of us are, not only shivering, but also sniffling, sneezing, and maybe even a little feverish. As important as it is to regularly visit loved ones in assisted living (especially during the cold, dark months of winter), you aren’t doing them any favors by visiting them if you’re sick, so we have some very good reasons you should stay away from the assisted living community if you’re sick, and what you can do instead.

Compromised Immune Systems

As we age, our immune systems weaken and it becomes harder for us to fight off disease, including the common cold and flu. While we don’t doubt that your loved one is happy to see you no matter how you look or feel, they’ll appreciate your visit less if they come down with the same bug a few days later.

Not only does a compromised immune system mean that our aging loved ones are more likely to get sick, it also means that their illnesses tend to be much more serious because their bodies are less able to fight off the disease. Something we might be able to bounce back from after a few days could easily send your loved one to the hospital, so when we recommend staying away from assisted living communities when you’re sick, it’s not a trivial matter.

What to Do Instead

1. Use Technology

Just because you can’t come visit, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with your loved one. You can buy them a tablet and install Facetime, Zoom, or Google Hangout so you can chat with them face-to-face.

If screens intimidate your loved one, use technology with which they’re comfortable. Pick up the phone and call them. Spend as much time chatting with them over the phone as you can. It can’t make up for not seeing your face or giving you a hug, but you might be surprised at the power of hearing the voice of someone you love and spending the time to catch up. It can do wonders to help them feel connected and help you stay in the loop about what’s going on with them and how they’re feeling.

2. Send a Card

If all else fails, send a card. It’s all about that personal touch, and the next best thing to getting a phone call from a loved one is getting mail. Just a quick, personal note to let them know what’s new with you and that you’re thinking of them can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to lifting the spirits of a loved one.

3. Rest Up

Finally, take care of yourself and rest up so you can visit your loved one again as soon as possible. Make sure you’re no longer contagious before you come for another visit, and when you do visit, be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water.

If you have any other questions about when and how to visit your loved one is assisted living, or if you want to know more about what we offer at Stillwater Senior Living, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Assisted Living: Activities vs. Engagement

activities and engagementThe activities in assisted living communities get a lot of attention, and rightly so. Not only do the staff put in a lot of time and hard work into making those activities a success, but it’s those kinds of programs that are critical to helping residents get engaged in their community, which in turn is great for their health, both physical and mental.

But there’s a difference between activities and engagement. Keeping residents busy is easy. Getting and keeping them engaged is another matter entirely.

Activities

The term “activities” refers to any activity that can entertain residents and keep them busy. It doesn’t necessarily keep them engaged, and they’re usually designed to appeal to the greatest number of current residents. But where does that leave the rest of the residents?

When deciding if an assisted living community is right for you, their activities should be a priority on your list of concerns. Are they diverse enough to appeal to everyone? Are there activities on there that will appeal to your loved one? Are there activities on there that will encourage them to engage with the other residents? For example, crafts are great, but they can easily be done in solitude. Games, on the other hand, are a great ice breaker for just about any group of people.

Engagement

Engagement, on the other hand, involves getting active in the community and interacting with staff and other residents. Activities should be designed to facilitate engagement, but it can also happen outside of structured activities. Mealtimes are a great opportunity to meet new people and strike up a conversation. If your loved one has a roommate, that can naturally improve their social engagement, especially if their roommate has been living there for a while and can introduce your loved one to other residents. Meeting new people is that much easier when you have an ally, and that can be the best part of having a roommate.

Memory Care

If your loved one needs memory care (or you think they might need memory care at some point in the future), make sure you choose an assisted living community that has activities that are intended for dementia residents and are designed to improve memory.

The research on dementia consistently shows that activities that stimulate memory can help maintain their cognitive function and reduce instances of negative behaviors, so if you haven’t already asked about memory engagement, put it on your list of questions to ask.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we strive to keep our residents active because we know how important that is for their overall health, but we also make sure they’re engaged. We have a variety of activities to make sure there’s something on our calendar that appeals to everyone. Our staff is also trained look out for residents who show signs of isolation and to draw them out as gently as possible to get them engaged with the rest of the community. We truly believe that it takes a village and we are committed to providing anything and everything that village might need.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

When Should You Start Looking into Assisted Living?

looking into assisted livingThe process of looking into assisted living is something too many people tend to put off for too long. The thought of putting mom and/or dad into assisted living isn’t always a pleasant one, and if your loved one is resistant to the idea of going into assisted living, it can make the process that much more difficult.

The problem with this is that the best time to start looking into assisted living is before you need it. First, you need to determine which assisted living community is right for your needs, and once you’ve found the one you want, there’s likely to be a waiting list. So, when is it time for you to start looking into assisted living?

Retirement

While no one plans on going directly from work to assisted living, once you or your loved one has retired, it might be a good time to start thinking about what you’ll want and need from an assisted living community. If they want to move somewhere warm to live out their golden years, then once they’ve moved, start looking for assisted living in that area so they can stay in that area when it’s time for assisted living. If you want to be able to visit them often in assisted living, then look for options in your area and consider putting them on a wait list for an assisted living community where it will be easy and convenient for you to visit them regularly.

Early Warning Signs

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are both progressive diseases, so the earlier you can catch them, the better prepared you’ll be to take care of your loved one once the disease really gets going. So, keep in mind these early warning signs of dementia so you can start looking for an assisted living community with memory care options sooner, rather than later.

The Level of Care They Need Continues to Rise

It’s one thing to help out our parents every now and then, but if you find yourself going to their place more and more often to bring groceries, cook meals for them and clean up after them, it might be time to start looking at your options for assisted living. Don’t brush it off as being no big deal, or something you can handle on your own, because that’s how you end up turning into their full-time caretaker without realizing it. You’re better off looking for assisted living options before it becomes something your parents need right away. Don’t wait for an accident to happen.

Even if you or your loved ones feel fine now, that’s no reason to put off looking for assisted living until you think you need it. Make sure you get the assisted living community you want by looking into it now and getting on their wait list. If you still don’t need assisted living by the time you reach the top of the list, you can always defer until you do need it. If you want to start looking into assisted living now, reach out to see if we can be of service.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 

Can Grandparenting Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?

Can Grandparenting Help Prevent Alzheimer’sAlthough no one knows for sure what really causes Alzheimer’s or dementia, there have been a number of studies showing that staying active, both physically and mentally, can help prevent Alzheimer’s, dementia, and a host of other chronic illnesses. Well, guess what tends to keep us physically and mentally active? Children.

So, it stands to reason that looking after grandchildren could help ward of Alzheimer’s and dementia, right?

In fact, the science supports this theory. In 2014, the Women’s Health Aging Project (WHAP) published the results of their study looking at the cognitive function of more than 180 women, from the ages of 57 to 68, who regularly helped look after their grandchildren. The WHAP gave the participants three different mental acuity tests throughout the duration of the study in order to measure the women’s working memory and mental processing speed. The study found that the women who helped look after their grandchildren one day per week performed significantly better on the mental agility tests, suggesting they might have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

The women who helped look after their grandchildren for five or more days per week performed worse on the mental agility tests, which initially suggested that they might be at a higher risk of developing some sort of neurodegenerative disease. But on closer inspection, researchers noticed that the participants who looked after their grandchildren more often tended be older and have lower levels of education, both of which tend to contribute to mental decline. Once those factors were taken into account, they found the women looking after their grandchildren five or more days per week actually performed better on verbal fluency tests. The only area where they suffered a decline was in their ability to conduct numerical reasoning, which could be a symptom of fatigue or stress resulting from caring for children on a daily or near-daily basis.

Although no one is sure why this link between grandparenting and Alzheimer’s exists, some have suggested that the increase in social interaction is key to warding off a sense of isolation, depression, and other mental disorders.

The Institute on Aging at Boston College conducted another study that looked at the habits of almost 400 grandparents and more than 300 grandchildren over a span of 19 years. They found that the important factor appeared to be the bond between the grandparents and grandchildren – the stronger the bond, the better off the grandparents were. This remained true of grandparents who both gave and received support, so if you have an aging parent or loved one who needs a little help in their day-to-day activities, getting your kids or nieces and nephews to help out could turn out to be beneficial for everyone.

There aren’t as many studies showing how grandchildren benefit from spending time with their grandparents, but there are plenty of studies showing that having close ties to family and a strong support group at home tends to lead to better performance in school and more success later in life. There’s no reason grandparents can’t be a part of that equation.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Get Crafty: Craft Ideas for Assisted Living Residents

craft ideas for assisted livingLooking for things to do with your parents in assisted living? Finding activities to do together can be challenging if their mobility has been on the decline, but crafting is something almost everyone can do, which is why we’ve put together this list of crafty ideas you can implement with your loved ones in assisted living. As a bonus, kids love to do crafts, too, making this a great opportunity for your kids to bond with their grandparents.

Scrapbooking

Scrapbooks are one of the best crafts you can make with loved ones in assisted living. Just about everyone who has been lucky enough to live to a ripe old age has collected a significant number of photos, and scrapbooks are a great way to go through those photos and compile them into a colorful book that can be treasured forever. Visual cues (like photos) are also great at stimulating memories for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, making it a particularly great exercise to do with aging parents. Ask them about the stories behind the photos and you’ll end up learning how much you never knew about your own parents.

Painting

Painting is another great way to get your loved ones to strengthen those fine motor skills while expressing themselves in a way that’s fun and colorful. You can go the traditional route of painting paper or canvas, or you can paint anything from rocks to clay pots. Painted rocks make great garden markers and painted clay pots can hold anything from plants to valuable items. Either way, it’s something they can keep that will always remind them of the time they spent crafting with you.

Seashell Fish

Get some seashells, some googly eyes, and some glue and you and your loved ones are ready to make a whole school of fish. You can arrange them within a frame to make a decorative arrangement, or keep them separate from each other so each of you can take one or two fish home with you as a memento of the experience.

Bath Salts

Bath salts are remarkably easy to make. You just mix some Epsom salts together with baking soda and a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. You can add coloring if you want, just as long as you make sure whatever coloring you use is safe for bath and body products. Put it all in a mason jar, and then you can keep the crafting going by decorating the mason jar. This way, everyone will have something to take home with them that will ensure they enjoy their next bath to the fullest.

Button Doll

Have a lot of loose buttons lying around? You can assemble them together into a button doll using just some wire, a few beads, some wire cutters, and a pair of pliers. For extra points, you can even paint a face onto your doll if you’re confident you have the dexterity and talent to accomplish that much detail.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we offer a variety of social and recreational activities residents can do with their families and with each other. Our goal is to keep them as active as possible – both mentally and physically – and crafts are just one way we accomplish that. Reach out now if you’re curious about the other ways we keep our residents happy and healthy.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.