More than 5.7 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Even though this number is startling and is only projected to rise over time, seniors with other forms of dementia are not included in this report.
Although dementia cannot be cured, drugs can halt its progression. By providing engaging activities, activities that foster connection, and cognitive stimulation that is soothing rather than irritating, caregivers—both professional and family—can help improve the quality of life of dementia sufferers.
You are not alone if you find it difficult to communicate with a loved one who suffers from dementia. Once dementia develops, the majority of family members find it challenging to engage in everyday activities or conversations with their loved ones. But you may have a meaningful connection when you spend a moment with your loved one if you have a little bit of forethought and flexibility, as well as the desire to be in the present with them. As you prepare for your upcoming visit, consider these suggestions from memory care experts in our senior care facility to get you started:
For those with dementia, repetitive chores that guarantee success might be soothing. Together, perform errands or duties that you have always done, making adjustments as needed for mobility issues. These tasks are excellent methods to start a conversation, develop fine motor abilities, and concentrate on long-term memory. Try cleaning the garage, snapping green beans in the kitchen, folding towels or matching socks from the laundry. Keep in mind that the process itself works the magic; the outcome is not what matters.
Use exercise to expend the restless energy that dementia sufferers occasionally experience in the late afternoon. Take a stroll with your loved one. While traveling together, point out interesting sights like flowers or other objects. If walking is not a possibility, consider signing up for a simple workout session with a friend. If your loved one lives in a senior living facility, their activity schedule is packed with opportunities for exercise for people of all fitness levels. Utilize it and engage in it together!
Encourage remembering since it is one of the best ways to connect with a loved one who is suffering from dementia. Simply put, this is reflecting on and discussing the past. Focus on asking open-ended questions about their early years because people with dementia often retain long-term memories for longer than more recent ones. Avoid asking questions that can be resolved with a straightforward “yes” or “no.” For women who enjoy being mothers, use questions like “How did you wean your babies?” or “Tell me about the car you drove in high school.” Let the person with dementia respond after you start talking. There’s nothing to worry about if the subject of your chat changes! Enjoy hearing and discovering new information.