Let’s be honest. It’s getting to be a busy time of year, so maybe you as a caregiver don’t have as much time as you normally would to do activities with your person with memory loss. That’s okay; not every day has to be filled with board games and crafts and other high-energy pursuits. However, you still may need something to keep the person occupied and engaged so you can focus on other things, so why not try watching nature videos? Whether on DVD, TV, or the internet, nature videos can be great options for people with memory loss. Comedies and dramas require you to follow a plot, which can be very difficult for people in the moderate to severe stages of the disease, causing them frustration and/or to lose interest. To enjoy or understand the news you have to know who and what they’re talking about, which can be challenging for those whose knowledge of “current” affairs may be stuck a few decades in the past. Nature shows, however, only require that you enjoy the animals and the scenery. Often featuring soothing music and commentary (think Morgan Freeman narrating “March of the Penguins”), you don’t need to remember the previous facts or animals featured to enjoy the images on-screen at this moment. Of course, people may be more drawn to certain types of programs. Someone who traveled may enjoy watching a program on an area they visited. Someone else may have always enjoyed bears or cats, so finding videos featuring them would be an obvious pick. Maybe the person grew up (or had children who grew up) watching “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”, so they might be more interesting in watching a re-run of that program. Of course, all of these are also great reminiscing starters, so if you are available to watch with the person with memory loss, feel free to ask what they may remember from their travels, trips to the zoo, old pets, watching programs as a child, etc..
One word of caution. As we all know, some nature programs can show the more violent side of the animal kingdom which may be upsetting to some people, so be sure to keep that in mind as you make your video selection.