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With so much to do in caring for someone with memory loss or dementia, we thought it may be helpful to share tips for meaningful activities that can be incorporated easily into your regular routine.

Tip #1: Music can calm a restless soul.

Music that was popular in an Alzheimer’s resident’s young adult life may bring good feelings, fond memories and joy. An iPod, headphones and a playlist for Everly Brothers, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Elvis Presley has worked wonders for restless residents who needed a means to relax and find comfort when restless.

Tip #2: Make staying hydrated an activity.

Dehydration is certainly a risk during the summer months for all elderly individuals, especially those with memory loss that forget to drink regularly. Get creative and turn healthy fluid intake into an activity. Make sun tea with the Alzheimer’s individual and then once it is ready, mix it 50/50 with lemonade to create a tasty and refreshing Arnold Palmer summer refresher. It’s fun, creates purpose in the day and accomplishes a wonderful goal of staying hydrated.

Tip #3: Create a family tree.

Make time each week to look at family photos and discuss the circle of familiar faces that an Alzheimer’s family member may see in person routinely. Create a very simple, colorful graphic family tree with large cut out photos of key local family members. Place the photos on the branches of the tree, label with large easy-to-read names and laminate it. Bring it out 3-4 times a week and talk about who is related to whom and how each person ties into the family. It creates great opportunities to reminisce and talk about fond family memories.

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