Baseball Helps Alzheimer’s, Dementia Patients
March 9, 2023
The beloved pastime of baseball is helping people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The Society for American Baseball Research has created baseball memory support groups to help patients as well as their caregivers.
Today Scott Bush, CEO of Society for American Baseball Research, joins us to discuss more on the topic.
“The purpose is to invoke positive memories for the past in individuals who are suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Bush. “Sports in reminiscence therapy programs is gaining a lot more popularity.”
How the baseball program works
The baseball therapy sessions typically are between 60 to 90 minutes long and always involve a theme. Some previous themes include specific baseball teams, baseball players or a specific location.
“You like to try to get energy moving through the group, get them excited about something. Hopefully one or two members start getting everyone else going in terms of remembering certain things,” said Bush. “We try to encourage them along the way by introducing images and also by sometimes a trivia contest.”
A study conducted revealed that the mood of these individuals improved thanks to sports therapy.
“You can imagine the frustration for anyone who’s suffering from memory loss and some of the isolation that comes along with that. The ability to help improve existing living conditions for individuals is really what this is about,” said Bush.
How caregivers are affected by sports therapy?
“Satisfaction that you have improved someone’s day; improved their well being. A lot of our volunteers that’s what they are seeking out. They want to be able to visually see the impact of work that they are doing,” said Bush.
For more information on how you can become a volunteer and help this cause, check out their website at sabrbaseballmemories.org