The cognitive rehabilitation exercises described here for persons with Alzheimer’s have been developed by NeuronUP and are available for all those professionals working with our neurorehabilitation web platform. Please keep in mind that these are just examples and that, depending on the resources at hand, there can be many variations.
1. Straighten up the House
This activity makes the therapist’s work easier because it seems familiar to the patient. The person is presented with different images of objects that must be placed in the rooms of the house where they belong. Apart from working on maintaining this basic activity of daily living, semantic memory and reasoning are also trained with this task.
2. ATM Withdrawal
The simulation of this instrumental activity of daily living is directed at persons with early stage Alzheimer’s. As you can see in the image, the simulation of withdrawing money from an ATM is very realistic. This task aims at learning to withdraw money from an ATM or performing an activity that was deteriorating due to the effects of the disease. Like in all cognitive rehabilitation exercises, this task targets various processes, especially language and executive functions.
3. Getting Dressed
The family of a patient with Alzheimer’s is going to appreciate very much that you practice this activity. The task involves dressing a doll figure appropriately, taking into account both the part of the body where each item of clothing goes and dressing in a sequential fashion, as well as selecting clothing appropriate to occasion. This activity focuses on procedural memory, body schema, ideational praxis, semantic memory, and planning.
4. Accurate Payments
This is another activity with clear benefits for daily life. To maintain the ability to pay at stores turns out to be very stimulating for the patient even if done under the close supervision of a relative or caregiver. In this task, the therapist encourages the person with Alzheimer’s to select the requested amount of money correctly. The exercise is aimed at training working memory, shopping skills, and planning.
5. Objects, Places and Professionals
This exercise involves connecting different objects to the places where they can be purchased and the professionals who work in these places. With this type of activity there can be numerous alternatives, starting with something as simple as changing the places and objects every time. It focuses on training semantic memory, spatial orientation, and gnosis.
6. Task Sequencing (written)
Sequencing, a classic in stimulation and neurorehabilitation, is another type of activity that allows for much creativity. There are so many daily activities that can be divided into steps! The idea of this exercise is simple: to order a series of steps according to a predefined criterion (temporal, visual, etc.).
7. Task sequencing (open memorization time)
Another sequencing activity allows us to see how much benefit can be generated from this type of exercise.
In this case, the therapist urges the client to memorize the order of the animals displayed. Afterwards, the patient with Alzheimer’s must order them in the boxes as they appeared in the image from memory. This exercise trains episodic memory and working memory.
In this example, a simulator is used to learn how to use a dishwasher, while selecting the different programs accordingly. There are a multitude of options to simulate daily routines that stimulate as well as rehabilitate and this exercise does so!
9. Personal Data Form
A simulator for learning how to fill out general personal data in a form.
A simulator for learning how to use a microwave by heating up the different foods on display
- 10 Cognitive Rehabilitation Activities for People with Alzheimer’s Disease - September 21, 2020
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- Neurodevelopmental disorders: concept, types and treatment - April 3, 2018