Of the many memory care options for senior citizens with Alzheimer’s disease or any other forms of dementia, children’s visits are one of the most practical and therapeutically beneficial.
Just a glimpse of a small girl walking into an assisted care facility could lift the spirits of an older person with dementia. You’ll most likely see the golden-agers smiling at the child and if the kid is gracious enough to engage in a conversation with the person in question, you might hear a giggle or two from both.
Ultimately, a simple five-minute conversation between the two is great for improving the wellness of people with dementia. It’s not uncommon for a grumpy and mostly reserved resident to start smiling, talking, and laughing with the child. Sometimes the two can even end up playing a simple game to pass the time.
This form of therapy is called intergenerational care and has proved incredibly effective in elevating the mood of people living with Alzheimer’s and encouraging activity among them. The method involves scheduled visits from children to interact with the elderly and do some fun activities together.
Though research is scarce on the long-term effects of intergenerational care, most assisted homes continue to adopt this choice of memory care options because it is practical, affordable, and it works.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of having children come to senior care facilities for the overall wellbeing of older people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Many elderly people tend to have gloomy days, especially those in assisted living facilities. Add Alzheimer’s disease to the mix and you have many older people trying to make it through the day without a refreshing face or personality.
If your nurses are having a hard time keeping up with the tempers of some residents, have them interact with adorable and bubbly children instead. Doing so will lift their moods and increase positive engagement with others. Don’t be surprised to one day hear the same grumpy residents cracking jokes with the nurses.
One thing old folks know how to do well in nursing homes is to remain tight-lipped. This tendency to be uncommunicative makes it extremely difficult for nurses and other attendants to tend to their needs.
Older people with Alzheimer’s disease demonstrate an ardent unwillingness to communicate with others, except children. To foster a habit of talking with them, expose them to preschool children for a couple of hours a week. Within a few weeks, you’ll have sneakily awakened the chatterbox in them without them even knowing it.
Great for Teaching Vital Skills to the Kids
If experience is the best teacher, then older folks are the greatest educators out there. Intergenerational care presents a grand opportunity for old folks to teach some handy skills to the tots. They may teach the kids how to fold a towel, how to tie knots, and a few polite manners while they’re at it.
The older folks could also learn a thing or two from the children, like how to always keep smiling and the ‘Baby Shark’ song.
Encourage Active Lifestyles Among the Elderly
In nursing homes, many old folks would rather watch TV or knit than take a 10-minute walk aside. Small children, on the other hand, are bursting with energy and are always up and about.
If you want to get the senior folks out of their rocking chairs and into the backyard without causing a fuss, then have the kids do it for you. Kids will always find fun activities for both of them to enjoy, plus no one can say no to such adorable faces.
Of the memory care options available today, intergenerational care takes the least effort and has many advantages over other methods. It may be a bit of a hassle to ensure the kids always show up for their visit, but once you have a schedule down everything else will be smooth sailing.