This is brand new and was released in the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2019 Facts and Figures report.
After trying this 1 type of activity on 718 residents, this happened: “A consistent significant benefit to cognitive function was identified following treatment and the benefits appeared to be over and above any medication effects. This remained evident at follow-up up to three months after the end of treatment.”
Can you guess what that activity is?
It’s Cognitive Stimulation aka Creativity.
Their whole lives, residents have had opportunities to be creative. But, in this phase of their life, it’s hard.
So it kinda just makes sense when this was also reported: “Cognitive stimulation was associated with improved scores on tests of depression in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s dementia.”
Source: 2019 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts And Figures – report from Alzheimer’s Association (page 11)
Professionally, I’m a LEGO® Artist and in 2017 I started to experiment with LEGO and seniors…
I brought Duplo® large LEGO bricks and Minifigures to a memory care community and taught a few seniors how to build and create something. The effect this had on those seniors was so beautiful that I had to offer it to more communities. And I did.
The results have been amazing! Take Alice for example:
Alice was a late-stage dementia resident at Cedar Lane and her vocabulary was limited to “Thank You”. In one of our build sessions, a 3-year-old joined us. The little girl would hand Alice a miniature LEGO figure and Alice would line them up and start counting, one, two, three. They got up to 16 when we ran out of Minifigures, so I gave them a LEGO duck. The little girl gave it to Alice and Alice said, “Not the same”.
Everyone was shocked. Because Alice never says anything except “Thank You”.
But that’s not all.
Frances (a senior from the Brookdale facility) told us: “This activity activates my soul and enlivens my spirit.”
Isn’t that powerful?
Or Florinda (she’s a resident from Cedar Lane Cares).
Florinda told me: “I love building with you, it makes me so happy!”.
After building something, I asked this lovely woman how her build made her feel and she said: “I feel fulfilled”.
There is something magical about Cognitive Stimulation AKA Creativity.
When you give residents the chance to be creative, the results can be amazing.
Don’t you think?