Ellen Scharaga of Melville, NY, is an operational consultant for Alegria Specialty Pharmacy, a company that develops and administers medications that help manage the effects of chronic medical conditions, such as HIV, arthritis, and infertility. Outside of her professional life, Ellen Scharaga donates her time to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Though patients with Alzheimer’s can experience emotionally taxing mental degeneration, participation in certain activities may help improve both their mood and mental function.
Professionals suggest that devising simple activities based on patients’ past interests can lead to a successful and happy experience. For example, a patient who once enjoyed completing complex jigsaw puzzles may enjoy attempting a smaller puzzle with larger pieces.
Another suggestion that professionals make is to suggest activities that engage creativity. Working with bright colors in the form of paints, crayons, or clay may allow individuals with Alzheimer’s to express their creative side, generating a positive internal response to the activity.
Additionally, no matter a person’s age or condition, participating in physical exercise tends to yield positive results. Encourage Alzheimer’s patients to take short walks, offering them the opportunity to explore the outdoors in a setting such as a park or garden, where they can appreciate nature and use benches to rest.