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How Memory Rehabilitation Can Help Seniors with Dementia Regain Independence

Senior man stressed and confused while doctor attends to him

How Memory Rehabilitation Can Help Seniors with Dementia Regain Independence

While a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia is devastating, there’s growing evidence that disease progression may be slowed with various types of memory rehabilitation. As the scientific study of diseases of cognitive decline advances and new therapies are implemented, people with a dementia diagnosis can sometimes find they’re staying independent for longer and making the most of their quality of life.

This sort of dementia care focuses specifically on dementia rehabilitation, which includes physical and specialized occupational therapy.

The Benefits of Exercise

It’s important for seniors to stay active, and the effects of exercise on the body and mind are well documented. For someone living with a dementia diagnosis, exercise is no less important. The improvements to strength and balance will help seniors with safe aging, but it’s also possible that physical activity might slow the progression of cognitive decline, as well as improve symptoms of depression, anxiety and restlessness, all associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The increase of blood flow to the brain could have something to do with slowing the progression of dementia. And exercise in general helps reduce the risk of other health issues like cardiovascular disease and obesity. Staving off additional diseases will help someone who’s had a dementia diagnosis with staying independent and safely aging at home.

Occupational Therapy


An important first step to dementia care is occupational therapy, which often starts with making adjustments to the home. Staying independent for as long as possible after a dementia diagnosis requires creating a safe environment, such as ensuring walkways are clear and smoke detectors are functioning. Removing sharp objects, or pieces that could become dangerous if broken, is also an important step. An occupational therapist will work with the patient in the home to create a therapy program that’s customized to that person’s lifestyle.

Practicing everyday tasks around the home is key to staying independent for longer. An occupational therapist will help divide tasks into individual steps for the patient to focus on one at a time. This sort of practice has been shown to reduce confusion and lead to greater success. Then, having proper communication tools in place, such as wearable emergency contact equipment, can provide peace of mind to those with dementia and their loved ones.

Dementia Rehabilitation

The science shows that Alzheimer’s care should involve cognitive rehabilitation. The methods involved were first used to help people who had suffered a brain injury and were expected to recover. It was long believed that the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is not curable meant that rehabilitation of any kind wouldn’t be useful. But recent research is demonstrating that people with mild to moderate dementia do benefit from memory rehabilitation.

The goal of rehabilitation as a part of dementia care is to enhance performance of useful functions and delay disease progression.

Enhanced Rehabilitation Services

The McGaw Care Center at Westminster Place is on the forefront of dementia rehabilitation. It was recently awarded the designation of U.S. News Best Nursing Home, a distinction given to less than 3,000 senior living locations out of 15,000 nationwide. A team of professionals from a wide range of disciplines all work together to create and implement a program of dementia care catered to each resident’s individual needs. Therapists, nurses, physicians, social workers and dieticians are all part of our Ageless Abilities dementia program.

The team is able to increase a person’s independence and significantly improve their day-to-day quality of life. We involve family members who can help identify their loved one’s personal interests and incorporate them into therapeutic activities. People are more engaged when they enjoy what they’re doing. They also practice long-standing routines that can engage long-term memory, which is known to increase success rates in performing therapeutic tasks.

The team’s ultimate goal of this advanced dementia care therapy is to identify and implement a personalized Functional Maintenance Program the person with dementia can use to maximize the success of independent living and safe aging after rehabilitation is completed.

Are you or your loved one beginning to struggle with the activities of daily living? Are you having trouble managing medications? Are you concerned about the possibility of an accident at home? Contact the McGaw Care Center to have all your questions answered. You’ll learn about the improved quality of life that can be found with our enhanced rehabilitation services.