Engaging Cognitive Activities from our Memory Care Facility in Georgia

Bond over these fun activities with your loved one!

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When assisting a loved one with memory care needs, it’s important to encourage cognitive activities throughout their day. At the Marshall Pines Memory Care and Transitional Assisted Living Community in Evans, GA, we follow Montessori methods, which focus on presenting activities rooted in the participant’s interests and capabilities. This strategy encourages our residents to continue connecting with the world using tasks or experiences they may have enjoyed in the past. Take a look at these tips for presenting engaging activities for your loved one!

Get the Buy-In

Perhaps the most important part of introducing an activity or task to your loved one is your attitude. If you ask them to fold clothes in a disconnected or nonchalant manner, it’s unlikely that they’ll be excited to participate. However, if you take the time and effort to prepare the supplies or area for the activity, show enthusiasm with your body language and tone of voice, take into account tasks your loved one enjoys, and show genuine interest in the activity, they’re a lot more likely to be willing to attempt. The task can be as fun of an experience as you choose to make it!

Tap Into Personal Interests

Presenting activities with a personal touch and utilizing specific interests shows that you care. If your loved one has always enjoyed nature, an engaging activity could include taking a nature walk and picking flowers to put in a vase on the kitchen table each week. If your loved one enjoyed reading, an adjacent activity could include organizing books and magazines. You may also find success by engaging your loved one in previous jobs or professions they had, such as:

  • Organizing or sorting office supplies if they once worked in an office
  • Looking through cookbooks if they enjoyed cooking
  • Assembly-type tasks if they worked with their hands

Focus on Independence, Not Perfection

It may be tempting to over-assist or take over the activity if your loved one has some difficulty. However, the purpose of participating in these tasks is not to guarantee perfect accuracy but to help your loved one experience a sense of achievement and improved quality of life. You can make these activities a wonderful bonding experience by being an active participant and letting your loved one be as independent as possible while lovingly pushing them to persevere. This may look like:

  • Setting up the activity and organizing supplies
  • Supervising and supporting with follow-through
  • Breaking down the activity into steps and demonstrating each step
  • Assisting with the more difficult aspects of the activity
  • Engaging your loved one with relationship-building communication

Be Flexible and Keep Trying

Our last piece of advice for presenting and engaging your loved one in cognitive activities is a very important one: don’t give up! Even if you work hard to get them bought in, use their personal interests, and attempt to provide support throughout each step, it’s possible you’ll be met with some resistance. First, recognize that it is perfectly fine! It can take a little investigating to find out why an activity isn’t working, but being willing to try again at a different time of day, a different environment, or a different type of activity altogether means you care about your loved one and you’re invested in helping them succeed.

Here at the Marshall Pines Memory Care and Transitional Assisted Living community, we provide ongoing opportunities for our residents to connect with their memories and pleasant experiences from the past. We even have a Life Enrichment Director whose job is to plan and schedule daily enjoyable activities for a wide variety of interests. We hope that when you aren’t with us, these tips for presenting engaging cognitive activities will come in handy!

If you’re interested in learning more, we’d be happy to set up a tour for the Marshall Pines Memory Care and Transitional Assisted Living community in Evans, Georgia.

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