Memory loss for seniors is more than misplacing your keys or forgetting an important item at the grocery store. When seniors suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s not just the loss of the practical side of life, it can be the loss of who you as a person. Your memory holds your history, your stories and your experiences and as memory loss occurs, these parts of the memory become fuzzy causing anxiety and frustration.
Vista Prairie Communities is committed to providing quality dementia care in all of its Memory Care communities. It believes that effective communication is the key to helping seniors overcome the anxiety and frustration related to memory loss. When people with dementia lose the ability to understand and communicate, both home and professional caregivers must find a way to make up for their loss. Vista Prairie’s goal is to always reduce the anxiety whenever possible.
Whether you’re a caregiver or know someone who is suffering from memory loss, here are 3 alternative techniques you can try to help seniors maintain a normal life and to reassure them if they become confused or scared.
1. Aromatherapy. Essential oils provide sensory stimulation, memory enhancement and mood stabilization. Some common ways that essential oils are used with people suffering from memory loss are to diffuse the oils into the air, mix with hand lotions or mix in with bath salts. Depending on the goal, calming oils are utilized during times seniors are anxious to help calm and promote relaxation and uplifting oils can be utilized in the mornings.
2. Music Therapy. Different types of music evoke different responses in people. Energetic music in the morning and afternoons help seniors become awake, alert and energized. Calming music in the evenings can help promote rest and relaxation. Play familiar songs from a loved one’s past for memory enhancement and reminiscence. Seniors with memory impairments respond to music far into the disease process and it’s very possible it continues to the very end of life.
3. Pet Companionship. Whenever possible, have the animal or pet live in the home or community. Visiting pets are helpful, but the benefits stop the moment they are removed. Research has proven that regular contact with animals helps decrease blood pressure, heart rates, stress and pain. They also provide quality of life benefits such as companionship, feelings of self worth, unconditional love, and offer seniors with the opportunity to nurture another living creature.