September Memory Support Blog
By: Lillian Reda, Genesis HealthCare, Dir. of Memory Support Clinical Practice and Education
Summer fun with loved ones dealing with dementia.
It may be hard to believe, but summer is winding to an end and soon it will be time to shift our focus to fall activities and getting ready for the cooler weather. That does not mean, however, that we do not have the time to have one more blast of summer fun.
On September 2nd. we will bid a fond farewell to the summer. We can take a moment to show your appreciation for those who have worked hard to build this country and protect the rights of workers by celebrating Labor Day.
Labor Day is the unofficial ending of summer and beginning of fall, meaning this is your chance to get in all of those last-minute summer activities that you enjoy with your loved ones before settling in for the cooler season and changing of seasons.
Couple of fun activities you can enjoy this Labor Day:
Cook out. There is no more appropriate way to say goodbye to summer than capping it off in the same way that you might have introduced it, with a cookout. Fire up the grill and enjoy some hamburgers and hot dogs with your friends, family, and care team as you get ready to bring your cooking back inside for the rest of the year.
Crafts. Fill the quiet leisure time of the holiday weekend with fun crafts that get your loved ones minds working and stimulate their creativity. Bring in the patriotic theme by using the traditional colors of red, white, and blue, or start getting ready for the fall by using autumn inspirations. You can even stick to the Labor Day theme more literally by encouraging your loved ones to create crafts inspired by their careers from when they were younger, or careers that they always dreamed of having.
Dementia - Knowing the signs and understanding how to address them…
It can be difficult to know what to do if you’ve noticed changes in yourself or a family member or friend — particularly when they’re related to memory loss, thinking or behavior. It’s natural to feel uncertain about voicing your worries because that can make them seem more “real.” However, these are significant health concerns, and it's important to take action to figure out what's going on.
Is Music good for dementia?
For numerous reasons, YES! Music can maintain serenity and soothe agitation. Music can trigger memories and periods of detailed reminiscence like no other. Music promotes speech and improves communication. Music transports those from a stage later in life to a period of youth and vitality. Music is absolutely good for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Placement into care environments are tough decisions.
Making the transition can be emotionally difficult, both for the one experiencing it and for the family members who are watching it happen. In setting forth to help maintain ones identity, promote decision making, independence and autonomy we need to develop Therapeutic Alliances. By gathering information about an individual not only helps us to give care, but is a wonderful relationship building opportunity for residents, families/caregivers and care staff. Obtaining background information related to Social History, Medical History and Family History are great resources in establishing person-centered care.
Essentially creating a life story to share with others about the individual. This can be done through writing, photos or maybe even video and is an effective way to help staff members get to know the individual.
Information and topics to consider when developing a life story: preferred name, family (significant others, children), jobs/occupation, where one grew up/homes, a favorite pet, accomplishments, travels, retirement, favorite music or television shows, grooming preferences/routine, personality, humorous memories, hobbies, talents and an involvement in a faith.
Think about what you would want those caring for you to know about you, or what piece of your life story is important and meaningful to you?