Memory care communities are senior living communities that are designed specifically to support those living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Every detail, from the staff training to the residence size, contributes to a more comforting and safe environment that combats the challenges that can come with cognitive decline.
Incorporating meaningful fitness and movement into the daily routine of residents is one way that memory care communities decrease anxiety and increase independence. Here’s what you can expect to see when it comes to fitness programs and opportunities in memory care communities.
Why Is Movement Important?
Cognitive decline comes with plenty of challenges, including behavioral changes, mental health concerns and physical decline. Physical activity can help to address those challenges, offering a boost of endorphins that will improve mood, decrease anxiety, increase sleep effectiveness and improve appetite.
A little movement goes a long way and can be a welcome part of the daily routine in any memory care community.
A group exercise class is a staple in most memory care communities, with a staff leading the movement. Residents can sit or stand during the group and it’s a wonderful time to sing along to favorite songs, encourage one another, and share a joke or two.
Any walking activity is good, but when a resident can get outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, walking becomes even more therapeutic. You can find memory care community staff members leading outdoor walks on paved paths in the community, in a secured patio or even in local parks.
Believe it or not, a drum circle or drumming activity can be one of the best physical movement opportunities for memory care residents. Participants enjoy listening to favorite songs and tapping to the beat in order to get benefits like improved fine motor skills, improved mood and decreased anxiety. These classes can be especially helpful for residents who feel anxious and agitated in the late afternoon or evening hours, as it gives them a way to release pent-up energy and socialize with others.
Memory care communities are vibrant and busy places, with residents connecting with one another over shared events, including games. Residents can benefit from the movement associated with games like balloon volleyball, seated soccer, cornhole or frisbee toss.
Finally, most memory care communities feature dancing in some form as a part of their regular routine, whether it is posted on the event calendar as an official activity or not. You’ll find team members dancing to old classics with residents throughout the day, and residents can’t help but move along when their favorite tune comes on.
If you are struggling to find a way to connect with your loved one because of their memory loss or cognitive decline, moving together can be a wonderful way to make a meaningful moment with them. Consider taking a stroll together, swaying to a favorite song, or trying a seated exercise class together. Movement is beneficial to their health and can help you two find a way to bond over a shared activity.
If you are searching for a memory care community for your loved one, come visit us at The Glen. We would love to answer any questions you may have or schedule a tour of The Cottages, our memory care community.