Memory Care: How To Help A Loved One With Dementia

| Wednesday, June 17, 2015
By Rue Nichols

While caring for a loved one can be rewarding, it also can be very difficult to provide care if your loved one has some type of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Your loved one might have trouble remembering you or remembering many details of daily life. Confusion, anxiety, anger and depression are quite common, and this can be tough for a caregiver to handle. However, there are a few strategies that seem to help make life run more smoothly for both you and your loved one. In addition, there are facilities for assisted living in or near San Diego that specialize in offering memory care for their residents and this can be an excellent option if caregiving has become too hard to manage.

Obviously, when you have and form of dementia, it's quite common to feel very confused and also disoriented. If a person with dementia is placed in a stressful situation this makes it even hard to cope. Making life as easy as possible and avoiding crowds, large parties and situations with a great deal of noise can reduce stress. To make daily life a bit easier, post up a schedule so that your loved one always knows what to expect. Help your loved one by handling the paying of bills and household expenses and consider removing any clutter or extra furnishings to make the home easier to navigate and maintain. If you opt for assisted living in San Diego, you will find that the apartments are designed to reduce the stress of a person living with Alzheimer's or dementia.

While a person with dementia may no longer be able to work or handle stressful tasks, that doesn't mean they don't want to contribute to the family or the household. People want to be helpful, and there are plenty of important tasks that your loved one with dementia. Your loved one can help with dinner preparation, fold laundry, vacuum, dust, pulling weeds, raking leaves or grooming a pet. At a home for assisted living in San Diego, there will be daily activities such as sorting, art classes, games and more that can keep a person busy and engaged. Be sure to provide encouragement and to thank the person and express appreciation.

It's true that losing memories is very painful for both the person with dementia and his or her loved ones. Still, the most difficult aspect of dementia is often the changes in behavior. A person who previously was quite pleasant might become irritable or even very angry and sometimes even abusive with their loved ones. As unpleasant as this is, it's not atypical and some strategies often used at memory care facilities include using a quiet, calm voice when dealing with an issue. Changing the subject or providing a distraction also can help. Consider finding something pleasant to focus on, such as eating a meal or going for a walk or a drive.

One of the biggest reasons why families consider moving a loved one into a facility for assisted living in San Diego is safety. At home, a person with dementia might leave doors open, leave food cooking on the stove or perhaps wander far from home. In a memory care facility, a person is more secure and there is staff on hand 24 hours per day. This can bring great peace of mind for family members, and the staff is trained to interact with residents with dementia and severe memory loss.

If you do need to start looking for an assisted living facility that specializes in memory care, it is best to visit several facilities. Try to find one where the residents and the staff seem happy. Find a facility that offers activities that you think would be of interest to your loved one. An eldercare placement service can build a list of suitable facilities for you and your loved one to consider. Moving into assisted living can be hard and scary, so be sure to bring some favorite mementos from home and perhaps a favorite chair or a few other familiar pieces of furniture to make the new apartment seem a bit more like home.

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