5 Ways to Connect With Loved Ones Affected by Alzheimer's


As Alzheimer's Disease affects cognitive thinking, memory and behavior, it can have a devastating effect on all those involved. If your loved one suffers from this most common form of dementia, there are measures you can take to help improve his or her quality of life, while strengthening your bond and connection. Whether in the early or progressive stages, help keep the Alzheimer's care patient mentally sharp with the following activities and memory-enhancing routines.

1. Take a Stroll Down Memory Lane

Help jog your loved one's memories of happy times you've spent together. If possible, bring out an old family photo album and look through the pictures together. While doing so, ask questions like, "Do you remember when we took that vacation in California?, or "Doesn't this photo bring back wonderful memories of your 40th birthday party?"

Sharing old family photos and reliving memorable events of days gone by is a great way to keep the Alzheimer's patient connected. If your loved one shows difficulty remembering or focusing, it might help to stimulate memories by showing photos of the person's old home or pet. Be patient and persistent.

2. Encourage Involvement in a New or Old Hobby

Maybe your loved has enjoyed sewing, baking, gardening or painting in the past. With a little help and encouragement, he or she can enjoy this activity and stay mentally stimulated once again. Better yet, why not enjoy a new hobby together? Chronicle your progress in a photo journal or online photo album and view these pictures regularly. This may help reinforce recollection and create new memories.

3. Offer Computer and Internet Coaching

Helping a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's stay mentally active can be less of a challenge when you open up a modern world in front of their eyes. Show him or her the basics of computer use and using the Internet for emailing or social networking. Keep in mind, this may only be plausible if the individual is in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's.

By offering computer and Internet training to your loved one affected by Alzheimer's, he or she may learn new technology and feel more connected to the outside world. It might be best to train with a tablet or laptop, as it's highly portable and easier to manage than a full-sized desktop computer. As a side note, talk to the individual about Internet safety and privacy. You might want to allow your loved one Internet access only when you can supervise his or her activities.

4. Enjoy Outdoor Activities Together on a Regular Basis

Enjoy a walk throughout the neighborhood and point out favorite spots. Being outdoors in the fresh air may be therapeutic for those with Alzheimer's or dementia. Many dementia and Alzheimer's patients suffer from anxiety and depression. Research shows that outdoor activities such as walking may help combat depression.

Taking nature walks may not only improve physical well-being, it might bring the Alzheimer's care patient in touch with friends and neighbors, as he or she interacts with others on the street. It's also good for memory and recollection, as you point out various landmarks, bird species or flowers while enjoying your walk.

5. Stir Memories Through Entertainment

Create a play-list of your loved one's favorite songs from yesteryear. Watch an old movie together that was an old-time favorite. Search the library for a classic book that your loved one enjoyed in his or her younger years. All of these activities may stir up fond memories and offer your loved one a sense of well-being and familiar comfort.

For more information, consult your loved one's doctor a local assisted living facility to discover more ways you can connect with your loved one.


20 October 2015

assisted living following a stroke

When my mom had a stroke, I knew that things were never going to be the same. We were very fortunate that she lived so close to the hospital and that the neighbor was there visiting when it happened, because the outcome is not as bad as it could have been. Unfortunately, she needed a lot of extra care while she worked to recover from the damage that was done. I found a wonderful assisted living facility to place her in to get the help that she needed. If you have a loved one that has recently experienced the same thing, my blog could be quite helpful for you.