When a loved one enters memory care, the poignant reality is that we can’t know how much time we have left with them while they’re still able to recognize us and reminisce about shared history. We should always celebrate the role our loved ones play in our lives, but this time of year serves as an extra reminder to show our loved ones what they mean to us. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for seniors who may be missing lost loved ones or struggling with limitations that prevent them from experiencing the holidays like they used to. A gesture of gratitude is a reminder that they are loved, cherished, and included in the festivities.
Choosing a holiday gift for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be a frustrating challenge, and only becomes more so as the disease progresses into later stages. It can be difficult to find something that is both appropriate and enjoyable. The task becomes simpler if we draw on our knowledge of the disease for inspiration.
October is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and in preparation we’re continuing our memory skills series with another set of strategies to help you keep your memory limber and active. Practicing these memory exercises on a daily basis will not only improve your memory skills, but will encourage you to pay more attention to how often your memory is successful all on its own. When you “catch your memory doing right,” take a moment to celebrate and feel grateful. Memories are precious, even the smallest ones, and the older we get the more we learn never to take them for granted.
Alzheimer’s is a complex puzzle that science is still working to solve. The good news, however, is that there are lifestyle changes you can develop to improve cognitive function and decrease your risk of cognitive decline. Some studies swear by the benefit of digital “brain games,” but these are only one piece of the puzzle. The best way to optimize brain function is to practice a diverse set of habits that exercise both hemispheres of your brain in interactive activities.
Caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s can be a long and intense emotional journey. As your loved one slowly loses ability and ability, you gain new responsibilities and obligations that add to your already busy life. Here at Vista Prairie Communities, we know how difficult these times can be, so we’ve put together a list of tips for adult children with parents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.