Elder Care in New Brunswick NJ
Memory loss can be an extremely difficult issue for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease. Something important to keep in mind when it comes to helping your parent handle this loss is that seniors who are in the early stages of disease such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are often very aware of the changes that are happening. They know that they are no longer able to remember things as easily as they used to, that they are struggling to recall memories, or that they are having a harder time communicating smoothly because of their memory challenges. This can be very upsetting for your loved one. As they are dealing with this loss they can feel disconnected, frustrated, and embarrassed. Being compassionate throughout your elder care journey with them helps to keep your relationship stronger, supports their mental and emotional health, and can guide them through their memory loss with greater confidence and assurance.
Use these tips to help you respond compassionately to your parent’s memory loss:
• Do not show hurt. When you encounter a situation with your parent that is hurtful due to their memory loss, make an effort to not show this hurt. Stay calm and control your emotions. Remember that your loved one does not know what is happening and is not doing it on purpose. Showing that you are hurt or upset, or reacting negatively in any way will only cause anxiety and resentment. Instead, just let the situation go.
• Be as simple as possible. If there is a need for you to explain the memory loss or how it is impacting your parent, avoid being complicated. Give as simple an explanation as possible as to not overwhelm or upset your parent. Complex or detailed explanations can confuse your parent and make the situation worse. Stick to the bare details and the get through the explanation as quickly as possible.
• Avoid forcing your reality. Simply because you are aware of the current time and the details of this moment in time does not mean that you have to force those on your parent. Be aware of the time and place where they are in their mind and interact with them on that plane. It will not hurt anyone or anything, for example, if you talk to your parent about their teenage years and what they are going through as a “teenager”. Be respectful and dignified by allowing your parent to exist comfortably.
• Use memory aids. When talking to your parent about things that are important, or you want to encourage stronger memories, utilize memory aids. Pictures, videos, and even music can be powerful in helping a senior break through a memory block or recall specific details.
• Suggest rather than correcting. When memory loss causes an issue, avoid confrontational corrections. Instead, offer suggestions that give the correct information without sounding like you are scolding. For example, if your parent puts the milk away in the pantry, do not scold or correct. Instead, consider saying something like “I thought that this went in the refrigerator” or “Maybe it would be better if this was cold.”
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in New Brunswick, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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