When you have a loved one in memory care, it can sometimes feel difficult to stay connected to each other. Seniors with memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s disease, may have up-and-down swings of remembering and forgetting. This can be unsettling for family members if your loved one may suddenly not recognize faces or names. You may even feel like your loved one is slipping away from the bond you once had.
The good news is there are a lot of things you and your family can do that may help your loved one feel loved and feel more connected to you. Plus, they may even help improve their cognitive functioning and overall wellness. Below we are listing several ways that you and your family can stay connected to your loved one who’s living in a Fort Worth, TX memory care community.
Visit Your Loved One
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but many people don’t realize that visits can be simple, and they don’t have to take up much time. If you live near your loved one’s memory care community, maybe you can stop by after work. Or on a slow Sunday, you can bring your kids to do their homework or some coloring in your loved one’s community apartment. Your loved one may even join in the coloring! Whatever time you can make, simply stopping by and spending some time with your loved one will help them and you feel connected.
When You Can’t Visit, Call
Sometimes our busy schedules get the best of us, we can’t make as much time to visit as we’d like to. Or perhaps you live farther away, so that visiting in person can only be arranged every so often. But what may ease your worries is knowing that the memory care staff in notable memory care communities is exceptionally attentive and caring, to both residents and their families.
You can call any time you want to hear an update about your loved one and their days. The care staff can update you on the phone or even offer a video conference with multiple family members. They might also be able to pop over to your loved one and have them join your call. Families of residents living in memory care often report that having great care staff for their loved ones is one of the most important aspects of dementia care and gives them tremendous peace of mind.
Decorate Their Apartments With Them
Moving a loved one into their new memory care apartment can be an emotional step. But it helps if you can take an active part of the moving process, and beyond. One thing many seniors living in care living communities express is that when family members help decorate their space in loving ways, it makes them feel at home quicker. Consider putting up family pictures or cherished keepsakes from their prior apartment. If they have a spouse living in a different senior living option, it’s a great idea to put up a picture and other belongings of them, to remind your loved one of them still being nearby.
You can also add items in colors your loved one enjoys. Perhaps consider cheerful, bright colors over darker pieces, as this helps to give the apartment an overall bright and joyful look.
Enjoy Nature Together
When you’re in Fort Worth to visit your loved one, enjoy a fresh breeze or the sunshine together. Weather permitting (or adjusting with the right clothes), suggest a little nature walk to your loved one. If they need walking support, ask the care staff to set them up with a walker, wheelchair, or other device. Grab a coat, or sunglasses and a hat, and some water to keep you both hydrated, and head outside. Many Fort Worth senior living communities are on gorgeous grounds surrounded by nature, trees, and easy walking paths.
If your loved one is a really avid nature lover, you can also try engaging them with simple gardening tasks.
Tackle Fun, Memory-Enhancing Activities With Them
A great Fort Worth dementia care community will keep its residents engaged. Communities that offer memory-enriching activities can help improve the residents’ cognitive functioning greatly. However, it’s extra special for your loved one when you can play the games with them! So, sit down in their community living room, grab their favorite board or card game, and enjoy the activity together. And remember, it’s not about them winning or even finishing the game. Simply being together and engaging in meaningful ways will help you and your senior loved one feel more connected.
Socialize With Their Community Neighbors
Chances are your loved one has already made some friends in their new community. Residents in the most sought-after memory care communities love hanging out with each other and support one another in any way they can. Studies have shown that celebrating joyful events together helps people bond. The best senior care communities openly invite family members and friends of residents to join for any events and celebrate with them. So, come on by, and join in on community events! Mingle with other residents and enjoy the experience together with your loved one. This can also help your loved one appreciate socialization with their peers more, even when family can’t be there.
Living with dementia doesn’t have to be dull or isolating. And by incorporating some of the tips and ideas above, you can help your loved one feel closer to you and their community. You and your family members can strengthen your bond with them and among each other.
Do you have more questions around dementia and the best senior care options for memory loss? Our Dementia Care Checklist might help. It explains different memory care options and can help you and your family decide which one is right for your situation and needs. Download the printable checklist here.