Seniors experiencing dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and other memory issues often feel a significant amount of confusion and anxiety as a direct result of their condition. Although medical science has yet to find an effective way of reversing memory loss, strategies exist for helping lessen these negative emotions that frequently accompany memory disorders. Following are several ways that you can help your senior loved one live his or her best possible life while residing in a memory care facility.
If you're like most people, you find spending time in a chaotic, cluttered environment can cause irritability -- and that feeling is often magnified in those with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease become those suffering from memory issues often become increasingly sensitive to their environments. Keeping your senior loved one's surroundings familiar as possible helps them feel more at ease. Living in a positive environment may even help your senior to live longer as well as enjoy a better quality of life.
Make sure that decor is unfussy-yet-familiar in order to keep distractions to a minimum. Good memory care facilities allow residents to bring furnishings and other items from home in order to keep their environment as familiar and soothing as possible. Bring photos of family members even though your loved one may sometimes not recognize them as well as familiar bedding and decorative items.
Research has shown for years that therapy animals provide a number of benefits to those with a variety of conditions. Just the act of touching and petting a soft furry friend has been known to lower blood pressure, decrease bodily production of the stress hormone cortisol, increase serotonin levels, and in general put the average person in a better mood.
Some memory care facilities allow residents to keep pets of their own, while others participate in programs where therapy animals are brought to the facility for visits. It may also be possible for friends and family to bring in their own pets to visit with their senior loved ones. However, if you choose to do so, make certain your clear it with the facility first.
Keep in mind that professional therapy dogs are selected for certain traits that some domestic pets simply don't possess. Be honest with yourself if your pet's particular temperament is suited to acting as a therapy dog. If your canine companion is prone to barking or hyperactive behavior, it may end up upsetting your senior loved one instead of having a positive effect.
As usual, technology has gotten into the act -- you may find that a robotic therapy cat works better for your senior than a real-life dog. These lifelike bundles of love don't need to be fed or cleaned up after, and they're available 24/7.
Memory care residents are often able to find ways to express themselves through art therapy. Art therapy classes also helps those experiencing memory loss to improve their overall focus and allows them the opportunity to relax and make social connections with others in a non-stressful setting. Even those who were never particularly artistic before they entered a memory care facility have discovered newfound talent. Many memory care facilities even have onsite art galleries where the work of residents is featured.
If you are unsure of what's available to help create a better quality of life for your senior in the memory care facility where he or she is staying, check out sites like http://graceseniorcommunity.com/ and be sure to ask the staff for a comprehensive list of programs and amenities. If you can think of something that can help your senior loved one live a better life, don't be afraid to mention it to them.Share