Transforming Dementia Care

Jul 2, 2024 | Alzheimer's & Dementia

Dementia care can be a challenging journey for both caregivers and family members alike – that’s a massive understatement.

But there’s a new approach on the horizon that is making a significant difference: Life Activity Centers. These centers provide meaningful activities that tap into residents’ past experiences and skills. They’re not necessarily about keeping residents busy – but about nurturing their passions and giving them a sense of purpose.

Most importantly, they’re revolutionizing the world of dementia care.

What Are Life Activity Centers?

Life Activity Centers recreate environments that resonate with the early life experiences of individuals with dementia. They’re highly personalized and individualized, catering to the specific needs and backgrounds of each resident.

The science behind them is sound. According to Craig Rukande, the Director of Memory Care and Engagement for Priority Life Care, LLC, it’s common for people with dementia to revert to habits and roles from their past.

Memory’s not a function of just one process in the brain, but rather, a collection of different systems. People with dementia (or Alzheimer’s, for that matter), may struggle with short-term memory but remote, long-term memory is often left completely intact.

Providing personalized spaces that allow seniors to fully (and safely) experience their beloved roles from the past is both healthy and beneficial.These familiar activities can help to reduce agitation and improve overall well-being.

What does this look like? For someone who was once a parent or teacher, it might look like a nursery. For a retired carpenter, it might be a workshop.

Ultimately, these spaces can dramatically improve the quality of life for those with dementia. Familiarity is important, especially when it’s part of a daily routine, because it can help reduce stress and anxiety.

These activities are also beneficial because dementia eventually impairs someone’s ability to plan and initiate an activity – by going through the motions of an activity they’re already familiar with, people with dementia can retain some of their sense of control.

The Role of Staff Training

Creating an engaging environment goes beyond setting up these activity centers, requiring well-trained staff who understand deeply the unique needs of each resident.

Staff members should be trained to involve residents in daily tasks, like helping in the kitchen or taking care of baby dolls in a nursery, to empower them and build a sense of community.

Craig Rukande shares a touching story about a resident who had been a carpenter. At the Life Activity Center, he found joy in making bird feeders at a workbench. Another resident, who was a natural caregiver, spent hours happily holding a baby doll.

These activities are not just about keeping residents busy – they provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

How Brentwood at Hobart Can Shape the Future of Life Activity Centers

As we continue to understand the profound impact of these centers, they will become a cornerstone of dementia care, offering personalized, meaningful engagement for every resident.

At Brentwood at Hobart, we are committed to providing exceptional dementia care. Our Life Activity Centers are tailored to meet the unique needs of our residents so they receive the best possible care.

You’re not just selecting a care facility – you’re choosing a community that values and empowers its residents. Reach out to us today to learn more about our Life Activity Centers and how they can make a difference in your loved one’s life.

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