fbpx
(618) 692-CARE (2273)

Posts Tagged ‘dementia’

The Benefits of Assisted Living

Assisted Living Can Actually Improve HappinessHere at Stillwater Senior Living, we’re so used to seeing the benefits of assisted living every day that sometimes we forget that a stigma against it remains in society at large. Many people who haven’t experienced the benefits of assisted living for themselves, or seen what it can do for a friend or family member, just don’t know what they’re missing out on. So, we decided to take some time to remind the world of just a few of the benefits of assisted living.

Socialization

The biggest asset we provide is access to social activities. They’re included in the price of our services and residents don’t have to travel far to get to them, which leaves them with no excuse to stay shut along in their rooms. Isolation is one of the biggest problems facing older Americans and it’s a leading cause of many of the other issues facing them, including a decline in mental abilities and a rise in illness and depression. But make it easy for them to spend quality time with people their own age and they come alive again!

Better Family Relations

If someone needs assisted living, but they continue living at home, for whatever reason, it’s usually a family member who ends up taking care of them. This can put a lot of stress on the family member, who has their own life to live, but has to try and find the time and energy to take care of their loved one. It’s a recipe for burnout, which tends to create resentment and put a lot of strain on their relationship with the loved one for whom their caring.

When families let us take care of the day-to-day tasks, it frees them up to take care of the things that need attention in their lives. That way, when they visit their loved one, they can enjoy it more fully with the freedom to really spend time with them, instead of thinking of it as another chore that needs to be checked off their to-do list.

Improved Independence

A lot of the stigma surrounding assisted living is the idea that moving into assisted living somehow means giving up your freedom. On the contrary, our job is to help our residents live fuller, richer lives. If they’re having trouble lifting pots and pans to do their own cooking and cleaning, we can take care of that for them while they chat with their neighbors or catch up on their favorite TV show.

If our residents are able to drive themselves around, we provide parking. If they’re unable to drive themselves, we’re happy to provide them with rides to wherever they want to go. Our job is to provide your loved one with more freedom, not less.

If you’re still wary of the benefits assisted living can provide, or if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us now. We’d love nothing more than a chance to show you everything we’ve mentioned here and then some.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 

Assisted Living: Activities vs. Engagement

activities and engagementThe activities in assisted living communities get a lot of attention, and rightly so. Not only do the staff put in a lot of time and hard work into making those activities a success, but it’s those kinds of programs that are critical to helping residents get engaged in their community, which in turn is great for their health, both physical and mental.

But there’s a difference between activities and engagement. Keeping residents busy is easy. Getting and keeping them engaged is another matter entirely.

Activities

The term “activities” refers to any activity that can entertain residents and keep them busy. It doesn’t necessarily keep them engaged, and they’re usually designed to appeal to the greatest number of current residents. But where does that leave the rest of the residents?

When deciding if an assisted living community is right for you, their activities should be a priority on your list of concerns. Are they diverse enough to appeal to everyone? Are there activities on there that will appeal to your loved one? Are there activities on there that will encourage them to engage with the other residents? For example, crafts are great, but they can easily be done in solitude. Games, on the other hand, are a great ice breaker for just about any group of people.

Engagement

Engagement, on the other hand, involves getting active in the community and interacting with staff and other residents. Activities should be designed to facilitate engagement, but it can also happen outside of structured activities. Mealtimes are a great opportunity to meet new people and strike up a conversation. If your loved one has a roommate, that can naturally improve their social engagement, especially if their roommate has been living there for a while and can introduce your loved one to other residents. Meeting new people is that much easier when you have an ally, and that can be the best part of having a roommate.

Memory Care

If your loved one needs memory care (or you think they might need memory care at some point in the future), make sure you choose an assisted living community that has activities that are intended for dementia residents and are designed to improve memory.

The research on dementia consistently shows that activities that stimulate memory can help maintain their cognitive function and reduce instances of negative behaviors, so if you haven’t already asked about memory engagement, put it on your list of questions to ask.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we strive to keep our residents active because we know how important that is for their overall health, but we also make sure they’re engaged. We have a variety of activities to make sure there’s something on our calendar that appeals to everyone. Our staff is also trained look out for residents who show signs of isolation and to draw them out as gently as possible to get them engaged with the rest of the community. We truly believe that it takes a village and we are committed to providing anything and everything that village might need.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Celebrating Father’s Day in Assisted Living

Celebrating Father’s Day in Assisted LivingCelebrating Father’s Day in assisted living is all about finding which of his favorite activities you can do in assisted living (or on a field trip). You might be surprised how many of dad’s favorite things can be included in assisted living, especially with a little help from the staff.

Food

Food is one of the easiest ways to make any occasion special. You can take dad out to a meal on Father’s Day, or host something at the assisted living community. Make it a potluck and assign one of his favorite dishes to each person who’s coming. That makes it both special and easy to implement because it takes a lot of the burden of hosting off you.

If dad likes to grill, ask the assisted living community if they have a grill you can use to host a BBQ.

Games

Games are always a great way to bring people together. You can bring his favorite games when you visit, and if you’re bringing children who have their own favorite board games, you can include your father or father-in-law by teaching him to play their favorite game, which is a great bonding experience for everyone.

Sports

If your loved one enjoys sports, you can enjoy a few drinks and gather everyone around to watch a game with him. Watching a game together is another great way to bond with the people around you, and sometimes the best way to celebrate Father’s Day is just to enjoy some quality time with friends and family.

Depending on how active your loved one is, you might even be able to get him outside to play a few rounds of his favorite game, especially if it’s something like baseball or soccer, which both tend to be low impact.

Field Trip

While assisted living communities are here to help, there are also benefits to leaving every once in a while and seeing a bit of the wider world. It can improve mental stimulation and help them to feel less isolated, so whether you’re just taking your loved one out to lunch, a movie, or a museum (or all three), he can probably benefit from the fresh air and sightseeing.

He Doesn’t Have to Be Happy All Day

While Father’s Day should certainly be a time to celebrate dads and everything they’ve done for us, remembering back to that time can have its painful moments. Many men tend to feel most needed and respected when they’re working and taking care of a family, and the loss of that identity can be painful. If they’ve lost their spouse, or even a child, those memories can be painful as well. They might even be remembering their own father and missing him, so don’t think your loved one has to be happy all day long. We all experience memories differently, so just be there for him no matter what he’s feeling.

No matter how you celebrate Father’s Day this year, just remember that the day is supposed to celebrate him and that he should be allowed to celebrate however he wants. If that means getting together with the kids and grandkids, then bring everyone you can. If he’d prefer a quiet day at home, that’s OK, too, just as long as you find ways to remind him how much he means to you.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Making Mom Feel Special While in Assisted Living

making mom feel specialCelebrating Mother’s Day, birthdays or any other special day in assisted living can be a bit of a challenge, depending on mom’s mobility. If you can take her out to brunch, that’s probably the best way to celebrate with her: by spending some time with her and taking her out to enjoy some of her favorite foods. If you’re celebrating in assisted living, we have some tips for you.

Bring the Whole Family

If you have kids, bring them to visit mom because you know she always loves spending time with the grandkids. If you don’t have kids of your own, but you have siblings and/or cousins, try to get as many of them to come visit with you as possible. Despite our best efforts, assisted living can sometimes be a lonely place and it’s easy for residents to feel isolated, so remind mom how much the whole family loves her by bringing everyone.

If mom gets overwhelmed easily, try to schedule with your family so everyone gets to spend a little time with her throughout the day (or weekend) without all crowding around her at once. Space out your visits so she has time to rest in between.

Update Her Technology

If you can’t be there in person, try to find ways to make it feel like you’re there with her. Technology has gotten more and more user friendly so even your least tech-savvy mom can figure out how to operate a tablet so they can FaceTime with you.

If it’s gift ideas you’re looking for, digital photo frames are always a hit. Load them up with photos of your family so she can always keep you near. If she’s done some traveling in her time and you have access to photos from her trips, you can load those onto the digital photo frame to remind her of the adventures she’s had. Most digital photo frames hold hundreds of photos, so you don’t have to pick and choose.

If mom has dementia or Alzheimer’s, photos and other visual aids can help stimulate her memory, which is a nice bonus.

There’s an App for That

In other cases, just taking the time to download some apps onto mom’s phone and/or tablet can pay off all year long. Whether it’s showing her how to use Spotify to listen to her favorite music, or downloading movies or audiobooks from your local library, you can give her more of the things she loves without paying a dime.

Another free app you’ll love is a locator mobile app. You can install it on her phone and it will give you alerts when she’s leaving and coming back to the assisted living community so you can have peace of mind knowing she’s not wandering off in the middle of the night. Life360 is a great app that does this for you.

Another way technology can help out is by helping her keep track of the items she uses most. Products like the Esky Wireless RF Item Locator offer multiple receivers and a color-coded remote to help you keep track of everything from your keys to your eyeglasses case. It’s great for moms with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but even the healthiest among us still lose our keys every now and then, which makes this the perfect gift for everyone.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we have activities to keep our residents active all year long. Reach out now to learn more about all the activities we have planned this month.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Maintaining a Sense of Independence in Assisted Living

Those who put off assisted living generally have two main reasons for doing so: cost and a fear that they’ll lose their independence. We’ve covered the issue of cost in other blog posts, so for this one we’re just going to focus on independence, since it can be the most difficult obstacle for some people to overcome.

Assistance Is Not Control

The fact of aging is that it often comes with a loss of independence all on its own. We tend to lose our strength, agility, balance, and memory as we age, making it more difficult to do things for ourselves. That’s where the loss of independence comes in, not assisted living.

In fact, assisted living is the opposite of dependence. The goal of an assisted living community is not to control its residents, but to help them accomplish what they need and want to accomplish. That’s why most assisted living communities offer help with shopping, cleaning, meals, and reminders to take medications when necessary, but residents who are able to do any of those things for themselves are often left to take care of them on their own.

Most assisted living communities also offer parking for residents who are still able to drive themselves around, and offer help scheduling transportation for those who can’t drive themselves so they don’t have to feel like a prisoner in their own home.

Owning Your Space

One of the most effective ways to help residents feel at home is by giving them control over their own space, so most assisted living communities give their residents the opportunity to organize and decorate their living space to their liking, which gives them a sense of ownership over the space and helps them to feel more comfortable there. Residents are often encouraged to bring personal possessions to put around their living space so they can feel at home their right away.

The same goes for respecting their personal space as belonging to them and giving them as much control over it as possible. Staff are trained to respect residents’ privacy, and while they are there to provide assistance as needed, they shouldn’t interfere with a resident’s way of doing things. If a resident likes to have their apartment organized in a certain way, or if they have a specific way of doing things, the staff should respect the resident’s wishes as much as they can while providing them with the level of care they need.

Some assisted living communities will even let you take your pet with you. For example, we have a Pet Concierge to help residents take care of their pets. Because we recognize all the physical and emotional benefits pets have to offer, we do everything in our power to make it easy for our residents to take their pets with them into assisted living. Those who are able to care for their own pets can do so, and those who need a little help can get it so they don’t have to give up their best friend when they move into our assisted living community.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s: What Not to Do

alzheimer'sAlzheimer’s is about as scary as they come, but it’s important not to jump to any conclusions if you think you or a loved one might be afflicted with it. If you know you have a history of Alzheimer’s in your family, then you should absolutely be on the lookout for it, but tread carefully. Here are some things you should avoid doing when it comes to diagnosing Alzheimer’s.

Playing Doctor

As tempting as it might be to think we have all the answers with the internet just a click away, it’s important to remember that only a doctor with experience working with Alzheimer’s can give a diagnosis – generally this will be either a neurologist (who specializes in brain disorders) or a geriatric physician (who specializes in older patients). The internet can be a great source of information, but it doesn’t have all the answers and conducting a few Google searches is not the same as earning a medical degree, completing a residency, and building experience working with patients in a healthcare setting.

Jumping to Conclusions

As mentioned above, if you have a history of Alzheimer’s in your family, you should absolutely be on the lookout for it, but don’t make the mistake of thinking every lapse in memory is a sign of Alzheimer’s. Everyone experiences a certain amount of memory loss as a normal part of aging, so don’t start diagnosing your loved ones with Alzheimer’s simply because they can’t remember where they left their keys.

Considering Only Memory

While Alzheimer’s has long been linked with dementia and memory loss, it’s much more than that. In the later stages of the disease, patients begin to lose motor function and even control over their bladder and bowel movements. Their growing confusion and inability to remember things is only a part of the reason they end up needing help with daily tasks – the other big reason is that they need so much help physically performing daily tasks.

That’s why, when doctor’s conduct an exam to determine if a patient has Alzheimer’s, they look at much more than just memory function. They do a complete physical exam, including checking the patient’s pulse, temperature, and their heart and lung function. They’ll also ask about things like the patient’s diet, their alcohol consumption, whether they smoke, and other factors that could impair their cognitive function, but could also affect other aspects of their health.

Other cognitive functions also tend to be impaired in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, including the ability to solve problems, do basic math, or use or understand language in daily communication. A doctor who knows what they’re doing will test all of these things before diagnosing a patient with Alzheimer’s.

Failing to Understand the Stages

Alzheimer’s has seven stages, although most patients don’t exhibit any symptoms until the second or third stage. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that diagnosing Alzheimer’s isn’t as simple as saying, “You have Alzheimer’s.” You need to determine what stage the patient is in before you can decide the best way to proceed, including the level of care they need, and how long it’s likely to be before they’ll need a higher level of care.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s: How to Find a Doctor Who Can Help

find a doctor for alzheimersNo matter how much you love your general practitioner, they’re probably not the best person to help you deal with your dementia or Alzheimer’s. These days, there’s a specialty for everything, and with all the research and new treatments around dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s more important than ever for you to make sure you get a doctor who keeps up to date on all the breaking news in that particular section of the medical industry.

Your general practitioner may be a great place to start, but remember they’re just that: general, meaning they really don’t know much about your particular situation. Your GP might recommend a specialist they know, but if they don’t, you’re on your own. So where do you begin? How can you tell which doctor you should turn to in order to help you deal with your dementia or Alzheimer’s?

We’ve come up with a list of a few common types of doctors who might be able to help, along with their qualifications and how to determine which one is right for you.

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP)

A GNP is a registered nurse with a special focus on providing care to older adults. With illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s becoming increasingly common in older adults, many GNPs are well-versed in the behavioral issues that tend to coincide with dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as some of the best medications to help alleviate those symptoms. In order to become a geriatric nurse practitioner, one must complete a master’s degree in nursing and become certified by the American Nurse’s Credentialing Center.

Geropsychologist

A gerospychologist is a psychologist who specializes in the specific mental health challenges that are commonly faced by older adults, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. They are qualified to perform psychological testing and therapy that focuses on issues related to behavioral management of Alzheimer’s symptoms, as well as some of the issues that come with being a caregiver, coping, and grief and loss. The requirements for becoming a geropsychologist include getting a doctorate in psychology, followed by completion of an intensive internship, conducted under supervision, of working with older adults.

Geriatric Psychiatrist

A geriatric psychiatrist is similar to a geropsychologist, with the biggest difference being that a geriatric psychiatrist is qualified to prescribe medications to help treat some of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms that tend to come along with dementia and Alzheimer’s. They need to complete a doctorate in medicine, followed by a residency in psychiatry that places an emphasis on working with older adults.

Neurologist

A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases that are related to the nervous system, including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and Parkinson’s. They need to have completed a doctorate in medicine, followed by a residency in neurology. Any given neurologist may or may not have experience working with older adults, so ask around and make sure you see one who specifically has experience with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s before you start seeing them as their patient.

As always, we want to be your resource as you navigate the various stages with aging parents. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Maintaining a Meaningful Relationship with Someone with Dementia

dementiaOne of the hardest things about dementia is feeling like you no longer know the person afflicted with the disease, even if you’ve known them your whole life. Not only is their memory impaired, but behavioral and personality changes are also a common symptom of the disease. So how can you maintain a meaningful relationship with them while they go through this?

  • Use Nonverbal Communication

This doesn’t mean sign language, it means universal body language and indications of what you’re trying to say. One of the many unfortunate effects of dementia is that the person suffering from it often loses some or all of their language skills, so you may have to resort to nonverbal communication in order get your meaning across to them and to understand what they’re trying to tell you.

And don’t underestimate the power of touch. Dementia can be a very isolating experience, but by simply laying your hand on theirs, you can let them know that you’re there to help support them and that they are not, in fact, alone.

  • Speak in a Quiet, Relaxing Tone

Another common symptom of dementia is heightened anxiety, which can be caused by a number of things, including increased confusion and an inability to communicate. When that happens, it’s easy to get frustrated and lose your temper, but that only makes things worse. It’s important to remain calm and speak in a low, quiet voice that promotes relaxation, rather than more anxiety.

  • Have Patience

We know this is easier said than done, but it is of the utmost importance in making sure your loved one feels safe and secure. There will be good times, but there will also be tough times, and in the tough times it’s important to remember that they’re struggling, too. What they’re experiencing is confusing and scary and it’s important for you to understand that and be as patient as you can. Together, you can work through it.

  • Find Activities They Enjoy

Doing activities together is always a great bonding experience, so try to think of activities your loved one has always enjoyed. If it’s something they can no longer do themselves (such as knitting or quilting), do it with them and find a way to make them a part of the process. Ask for their help picking out a pattern and colors, then work on the project in front of them while asking them about techniques and favorite projects they worked on.

  • Join a Dementia Support Group

It’s always a good idea to talk about these things with other people who have had similar experiences. No matter how much you will always love the person with dementia, dealing with the disease is never easy, but it can help to talk to other people who have been through the same thing. In addition to providing a sense of community and understanding, they can also give tips and tricks for dealing with dementia that you may not have thought about.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 

Are You an Only Child Caregiver? Here’s What You Need to Know

only child caregiverBeing a caregiver to aging parents is a tough job no matter how you look at it, but being an only child makes it that much more difficult. When you’re the only one your parent(s) can call on, it makes it that much easier for you to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and to neglect your own needs. It’s a recipe for disaster for everyone involved, so we have some tips on how you can take care of yourself and maintain a sense of balance in your life as an only child caregiver.

  • Talk to Your Employer

If you’re the only one available to take care of your parents (whether because you have no siblings or because they all moved away), it can feel like the only option is to quit your job entirely in order to take care of your parents, but that’s not always the best move. In many cases, our parents need the most help when we’re in our 40s or 50s and at the height of our career, which makes taking a break from our career very damaging. Some people even end up taking money out of their own retirement account so they can cover their financial needs while they take care of their parents, but that puts their own retirement and long-term care needs at risk.

Instead, talk to your employer to see if they offer any Employee Assistance Programs to help pay for you to hire a care manager to help you make decisions about things like in-home care vs. assisted living for your parents.

There’s also the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is a federal law that requires employers to hold jobs for workers who are taking care of sick or injured family members for a defined amount of time.

Respite care is another option. This is where you arrange for a friend, neighbor, family member, or in-home caregiver to take a shift while you take a day, or even just a few hours off to go take care of yourself. Whether that means doing chores around your own house, going to see a movie, or spending time with friends, it’s important to do whatever will give you energy to face your next shift as caregiver.

  • Have a Support Network

You might not even be aware of all the resources for support you have around you. Friends, family members and neighbors are all willing to jump in and help out at a moment’s notice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it because the response just might surprise you.

  • Use Volunteers

Not enough people know about all the volunteer organizations that are available to help out. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is one such volunteer organization that provides senior companion resources and other volunteer-based services designed to help caregivers with aging family members.

  • Consider Assisted Living

Despite the stigma that still exists around assisted living, it’s often the best option for seniors who are no longer fully capable of taking care of themselves. No matter how hard you try, there may come a time where you can’t do everything yourself, and that’s when it’s time to consider the benefits of assisted living. Not only do we help care for your loved one, we also provide a community of peers for them and resources for you to help you through the process. Call now to speak to one of our representatives about whether Stillwater Senior Living is right for your loved one.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Communicating with Someone with Dementia

dementiaIt can be one of the hardest things to see someone you love and have counted on for a long time, and yet not be able to communicate with them. It’s safe to say dementia changes people, while also leaving parts of them more intact than ever before. Just because they don’t talk or act the way you remember, doesn’t mean your loved one isn’t in there somewhere. It might take a little more work to get them to come out of their “shell,” but it’s well worth the effort.

We’ve come up with some strategies that can help you reach the person we all know is hiding in there, but first, you have to:

Set Realistic Expectations

Don’t assume your loved one will be able to talk to you the way they always have, and don’t try to force them to do so, because that will just make things worse. People with dementia often have a hard time understanding others and communicating, so cut them some slack and avoid getting frustrated when you can’t understand them. Instead, try to come up with creative ways to convey what you’re saying, and the same goes for trying to understand their communications. Their sentences may be broken or they may try to use more hand gestures to convey their meaning, so just go with it and do your best to understand. This is hard for them, too.

Talk Somewhere Quiet

Find somewhere that’s quiet and free of distractions so both of you can focus on the conversation at hand.

Talk Normally

Don’t use baby talk or speak to them in any other condescending way. Avoid getting agitated, and talk in a calm, level voice, but don’t ever talk down to them.

Use Names

People with dementia can find conversation hard to follow when there are a lot of pronouns involved, so avoid using words like “he,” “she,” and “they.” Call them by their names, and the same goes for initiating a conversation. Don’t just say, “Hi, it’s me.” Instead, say, “Hi Grandpa, it’s Suzie.” Don’t make them guess because that will lead to frustration and anxiety. Make it easy for them and the whole interaction will go much more smoothly.

Take It One Thing at a Time

Don’t jump around from topic to topic, because they’ll be less likely to be able to follow you. Pick a subject and stick to it. By the same token, if your loved one changes the subject abruptly, just go with it. Don’t try to guide them back to what you were talking about, but listen to what they have to say. That’s the track their mind is on at the moment, so you’ll get the most out of following it, rather than trying to derail it.

Use Body Language

Nonverbal cues, such as smiling and maintaining eye contact, will help put your loved one at ease, no matter what stage of the disease they’re in. They may also find it difficult to use and interpret language as the disease progresses, so hand gestures and other nonverbal cues may be the best way to get them to understand you.

Be an Active Listener

Every conversation needs to have some give and take and that’s as true when talking with someone with dementia as it is of talking with anyone else. Always pay attention to what they’re saying and let them know (gently and calmly) if you don’t understand.

Trying to have a conversation with someone who has dementia is always going to be hard and there’s just no way around that. But with these tips, hopefully you can make the process a little easier.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.