Memory loss is a challenging disease that takes the person someone once was and changes them into someone different. While the person inside is still there, the challenges of the disease may make it harder to connect with who they once were. When your loved one has been diagnosed with memory loss, it’s important to find ways to overcome the challenges in order for them to live the best, most fulfilling life possible.
According to DeeAnne Helton, Executive Director, at CountryHouse, a memory care community in Granite Bay, CA, memory loss is challenging in a number of ways. “Memory loss impacts everything from emotions and social interactions to physical health and more,” says DeeAnne. “Many seniors who have been diagnosed with memory loss tend to become self-conscious and depressed because they have trouble coping with the disease and overcoming the challenges it brings. While it may seem like there’s little that can be done to help all of these aspects and symptoms of memory loss, there are actually effective ways to overcome some of the emotional, social and physical health challenges it brings.”
Overcoming Emotional Aspects of Memory Loss
Emotions make up a large component in how seniors cope with their disease. Because many seniors can feel a number of ways about their diagnosis and situation, it’s important to uncover and treat any emotional challenges they may face including depression, agitation, anger, fear and confusion. According to the Alzheimer’s Society in an article titled, “Coping with Memory Loss,” there are a number of ways you can help your loved ones to overcome the emotional aspects of memory loss. These can include:
- Talking to your loved one about how they are feeling
- Providing support in times of frustration or depression
- Focusing on what your loved one can still do
- Spending as much time doing meaningful activities as possible
- Finding a therapist who may be able to provide some extra support for them
If none of these options seem to be working, it’s important to talk to a doctor, as there are medications that can help to lessen the severity of some of these symptoms. Their doctor may also be able to suggest some alternative ways to manage emotional challenges or memory loss.
Overcoming Social Challenges with Memory Loss
As memory loss progresses, seniors can become socially withdrawn and less prone to engaging in conversation or activities. Whether because of fear of forgetting something or not remembering who they are with, it’s important to not let memory loss get in the way of socializing. Social interaction is crucial for good health and can help to improve emotions at the same time. To help a loved one overcome social challenges, it can help to:
- Attend a support group of others dealing with dementia
- Find a dementia-friendly area where seniors with dementia can communicate
- Go to a senior living community to attend specialized programming
- Join a club in something that interests them, i.e. gardening, reading or art
- Reassure them that they are loved and accepted for who they are
If they are okay with it, have friends and family visit when your loved one is at their best. If they are having a particularly good day, take them on an outing or to visit their friends. This can significantly improve their mood and state of mind, as well as give them the social interaction that they need.
Overcoming Physical Health Challenges with Memory Loss
According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, physical exercise benefits cognitive function. The article states that “scientists have found a link between heart and brain health,” meaning that anything seniors do to benefit their physical health can positively affect their brain health. While seniors with memory loss may be less prone to exercise because of increased fatigue, potential depression or lack of resources, the benefits outweigh the excuses. In order to overcome the physical health challenges of memory loss, try some of these suggestions.
- Begin a walking, jogging or biking routine
- Choose the stairs instead of escalators or elevators
- Take a tai chi or yoga class
- Find ways to exercise at home, dance or walk the dog
- Exercise with a friend to make it more fun
Leading senior living communities, like CountryHouse, also offer exercise programs that are specialized to those with memory loss to encourage seniors to exercise and have fun while doing so.
For more information and ways to overcome the challenges of memory loss, call us at 916•778•9665 today.
Treating people like family is at the heart of what we do.
CountryHouse at Granite Bay is the very first CountryHouse location in California. With a desirable location among Folsom Lake and the Sierra foothills, and only 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, Granite Bay was the perfect area to place our upscale memory care community. While CountryHouse at Granite Bay may be brand new to California, we are certainly not new to the needs of seniors. And just like every CountryHouse around the United States, we know that personalized care can make all the difference when it comes to quality care and peace of mind.
At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we provide personalized memory care in an environment that is beautiful and thoughtfully designed. Full of natural light, warmth and tasteful elegance, we want residents and their families to feel welcome and at home. In fact, our staff members are even hand-picked based on their natural empathy. Our staff learns each resident’s story, from their likes and dislikes,to their values and their pasts, in order to customize care and make meaningful connections that provide residents with true moments of joy and the desire to make the most of each day.
With our LifeCycles wellness programming, we encourage residents to connect, engage and enjoy every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. We achieve this through a range of daily activities and routines, which can include daily bus rides, cookouts, trips and other special events. At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we strive to make sure our residents make the most of each day, and we believe that when you treat people like family, and keep that at the heart of what you do, residents, their families and their health thrive. Contact us to learn more!
Connect with us today or call us at 916•778•9665 for more information or to schedule a visit.
CountryHouse is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.