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Therapeutic Activities May Help Memory Loss Patients

Many people understand that FDA-approved prescription medication may help slow the progression of the memory loss, but did you know that caregivers can complement treatment with activities that may help reconnect their loved ones to daily life?

“In addition to obtaining a diagnosis and beginning medication, it’s important that caregivers plan activities to share with their loved one, like playing games and going on outings,” explained Eric Pfeiffer, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Founding Director of the Suncoast Gerontology Center at the University of South Florida Medical Center. “Even doing simple tasks like baking cookies or feeding pets can help to give a patient with memory loss a sense of self-esteem or self-worth.”

According to research, engaging a person with memory loss in activities that they enjoy may reduce many of the symptoms such as agitation, frustration, and wandering. Activities should benefit both patient and caregiver, by providing an opportunity to spend quality time together to connect both mentally and physically. Activities can include:

  • Playing music (patient’s choice)
  • One-on-one interaction
  • Playing videos of family members
  • Walking and light exercise
  • Pet therapy
  • Baking or light cooking