4 Ways to Connect Deeply With a Loved One Who Has Dementia

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on Jun 18, 2014 11:24:38 AM | 2 minute read

One of the most heartbreaking things about having a loved one with dementia is that they seem like a shell of their former selves. Connecting with a loved one who has dementia can be frustrating and sad, because their functionality and alertness can vary from day to day. Sometimes they will have moments in which they don't remember important events, confuse people in the present with people from the past, such as deceased family members, and may even forget who you are. Although these moments are very difficult for you as the loved one, it doesn't mean that you have to give up all hope. There are still many options for connecting with a loved one who has dementia.

zblogresident49Employ Art and Music

Art and music aren't just hobbies and pastimes. When it comes to helping with memory issues like dementia, multiple studies have shown that art and music have remarkable effects in helping seniors to remember events from their past and to be more alert and aware in the present.

While art and music cannot cure dementia, they do make connecting with a loved one who has dementia more feasible. High quality dementia care programs should offer art programs as a means of brain therapy and to provide a better quality of life.

Choose a Community that Offers Brain Fitness

Even though progressive decline is a classic hallmark of dementia, that doesn't mean that you have to resign yourself to the thought that there is nothing you can do to help.

When you choose a good dementia care community, something you should look for is the existence of regular brain fitness activities.

Brain fitness activities include puzzles and games that sharpen cognitive skills, as well as physical exercise and yoga. Managing dementia should ideally involve the mind and the body.

Specialize Your Approach

Connecting with a loved one who has dementia requires a willingness to consider different forms of communication. According to the Alzheimer's Association, it's important to remain patient, especially because people who have dementia tend to repeat themselves frequently or may have incorrect memories.

If you try to correct them and point out that their facts are wrong, they may become agitated and even aggressive. It's important to shift your focus to the feelings they are trying to convey and not get hung up on the specifics of the facts.

zbloghopefay04Choose Conversation Topics Well

Many people with dementia are easily confused, and it can be challenging to find conversation topics to discuss with them.

However, choosing your conversation topics well can actually increase the chances of having a pleasant discussion and can even improve the odds of them being more mentally lucid.

Keep conversation topics simple and easy to understand and avoid complicated topics. Asking them about their childhood can often bring out memories and makes them happy, in addition to allowing them to speak with more alertness.

Contact us today for how we can work with you to help your loved one who has dementia.

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