Having a sense of purpose is important to all of us, perhaps even more so to individuals living with dementia. Numerous studies over the years have identified a clear link between engaging in purposeful activities and exhibiting sharper cognitive function. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, participating in activities that are meaningful enhances both physical and mental well-being, each of which plays a key role in brain health.
You may have heard of the Rush University Medical Center study, conducted over a fifteen-year period, involving a group of 1,400 seniors. The results were striking. The study found a 30% lower rate of cognitive decline among those who scored high on a “purpose-of-life” scale. In other words, those who felt they were contributing to the greater wellbeing of those around them were able to sustain higher cognition than those who did not.
That’s a powerful testament to the importance of finding purpose in things we do each day. It is one of the reasons that the staff at our Anthem Memory Care communities encourage our residents and staff to use their talents and skills in purposeful activities.
Below are just a few images of Anthem Memory Care residents doing just that…
Chelsea Place residents embark on a break-room renovation project. They start by refinishing the old chairs.
After adding some fresh paint, here’s the final product! Well worth their efforts. Doesn’t it look great?
At Vineyard Place the cooks and bakers can regularly be found in the kitchen. This resident makes up a batch of her special chicken pasta salad.
Porter Place residents take a break from building some amazing wooden flower beds.
Finding daily meaning in the things we do is essential to our well-being. If you are a family caregiver for a loved one living with dementia, take every opportunity you can to encourage them to continue to do things that have brought them joy and purpose throughout their lives. You may be surprised at how well they are still able to do these things. And it will bring much needed moments of joy into everyone’s day.
(Our top image is of an Emerald Place resident checking out gardening tools at Home Depot in preparation for spring planting projects.)