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Tips for Making Summer Visits Sweeter

The early days of summer are a great time to get out and enjoy the fresh air, especially when visiting your loved one in an adult care community. Residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia, in particular, love the fresh air and sunshine. Walking outdoors for just 15 minutes can greatly improve circulation and elevate mood. This is why exercise is a vital part of our activity program in Carillon communities.

Walking clubs, flower arranging, bird watching, and gardening are all great activities to include in your visits. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact your community’s activity coordinator for more tips on having productive activities during your visits.

If your loved one is in a wheelchair, or has more difficulty with comprehension, a more simplified activity may work better during your visit. If your loved one is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a visually stimulating activity often renders good results. Bring in magazines or picture books with bright, colorful pictures, such as flowers, birds or other animals. You might also look for images that promote calm and relaxation.

Another idea is sensory stimulation. For instance, bring in some favorite flowers your loved one can enjoy. Not only are they visually appealing, but smell great too! Your loved one may have dementia, but their sense of smell is still active. Flowers aren’t the only items that provide sensory stimulation.

Some other fragrant aromas proven to stimulate the senses are:

  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Pine
  • Rose
  • Mint
  • Eucalyptus

These scents work great as oils to use for hand massaging, which is another great activity to do when visiting your loved one.

— Jennifer Mogle, Garden Place Coordinator, Carillon of Hillsborough

Posted in Alzheimer's and Dementia Care, Resources, Sage Stories on June 7, 2013

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