Memory care is a form of assisted living that addresses the unique needs of those suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. When visiting your loved one in a memory care facility for the first time, you may not be sure what to do. You know that it's important to visit your family member, but their memory loss and other symptoms may make you sad or uncomfortable. Here are four tips for making your visits go as well as possible, for both you and your loved one:
Keep Things Upbeat
Dementia can be very depressing and confusing for both the patient and their family members. Rather than focus on this aspect of their condition, make an effort to brighten their day whenever you visit by keeping things as upbeat as possible. If they don't seem to remember you or behave in other ways that distress you, remember not to take it personally. Tell uplifting stories and jokes and also bring photos of their grandchildren and other mementos to cheer them up.
Sometimes just sitting and talking with your loved one may feel uncomfortable. Instead, focus on pampering them by giving them a gentle massage, brushing their hair, or doing their nails. You may find that conversations flow more naturally when there is an activity to focus on, plus your loved one will feel taken care of and loved.
Stimulate Their Sense of Smell
Research has shown that the sense of smell is a powerful way to evoke old memories. Since many memory care patients lose their short-term memories while retaining older memories, smell can be a great way to engage with them. You can try bringing in objects like fresh flowers, fresh-baked cookies, and scented candles, which will cheer them up while simultaneously engaging their sense of smell. Opening the window or taking them for a walk after it rains is another idea.
Get to Know Residents and Staff
Use your time at the memory care facility like Gateway Living to get to know the other residents and staff, and help your loved one get to know them better as well. This will help you feel more connected to their life at the memory care facility, as well as help your family member to feel less isolated.
By following these tips, your visits to your loved one in memory care will go more easily and count as true quality time.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.