Are you curious about Alzheimer’s care in Washington? The Rivers at Puyallup offers signature memory care services in our senior living community in Puyallup, WA. If you are a family caregiver, consider our assisted living and memory care community as a resource.
Are there ways to help seniors with memory loss remember things? That is one question we hear a lot from at-home dementia caregivers.
Caring for an aging loved one can be a daunting task. Those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia often struggle with short-term and long-term memory. Preserving personal history is vital. There are several ways caregivers in the Puyallup area can help seniors with memory loss do just that.
The Stages of Dementia
Dementia is a progressive condition that affects many older adults. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and affects over six million seniors in the United States. Most forms of dementia are divided into three stages based on the severity of the effects:
- Early: Seniors may demonstrate difficulty carrying out tasks they once found simple and may struggle with memories or confused periods.
- Middle: Many begin to exhibit more pronounced confusion and forgetfulness and have trouble with clear communication.
- Late: People in the final stage of dementia cannot recognize family and friends. They have trouble following instructions and caring for themselves and require 24-hour care to accomplish daily tasks.
There are varying degrees of each stage of dementia. Everyone’s journey will look different. No two cases of Alzheimer’s or dementia will be the same.
However, those in earlier stages of dementia may be able to recall things with prompting from prompts or visual cues. These tools allow medical professionals and family members to support them as best they can.
How to Help Seniors with Memory Loss: Notes and Lists
Visible notes and lists can benefit seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia who have difficulty remembering appointments or medications. Posting reminders in visible places, such as on a refrigerator door or bathroom mirror, can effectively cue the individual.
An additional tool that can help is writing notes on slips of paper and then attaching them to items a senior commonly uses, such as eyeglasses or coffee mugs. This task ensures that they will be reminded when they go to use their glasses or make coffee.
A caretaker may also create a checklist of daily activities and tasks and post it somewhere easily seen. The more tangible these reminders are, the greater the chance they will serve as effective cues for seniors living with these conditions.
Sometimes writing down notes or making lists helps seniors with memory issues remember. Even if they don’t always read them, posting them around the house can jog their memory when they need it most.
This practice could include grocery lists, daily reminders, or a note about who will visit them later in the week. Keeping notes and lists close by can also comfort seniors who may feel overwhelmed by their condition.
Recalling the Past with Photos and Scrapbooks
Photos are a great way to help seniors recall memories from the past. Creating scrapbooks with photos from trips or special events is another excellent way to preserve the precious history of someone.
Looking through these albums together can also be a great bonding experience between caregivers and loved ones. Allow time for stories to come alive.
Scrapbooking can be an excellent mental exercise for a person living with Alzheimer’s. Continuing hobbies can encourage healthy brain activity.
To create a memory scrapbook, you’ll need these essentials:
- Photos that are meaningful to the person
- Archival-quality paper and storage supplies
- Cheerful embellishments and art supplies
Choose images for the scrapbook with strong emotional connections, such as family members or childhood memories. Start by organizing each image by order of importance. Once the photos are sorted in chronological order, get creative with layouts. Use bright washi tape and eye-catching frames to organize each page and draw attention.
Scrapbooks give individuals a chance to bring back happy moments to stay connected to better times during their journey with Alzheimer’s. Every photo may not draw specific memories, but one might.
The Connections program for memory care at The Rivers at Puyallup uses data-based activities to preserve and inspire healthy brain cells. This process is referred to as neuroplasticity and combines:
- Brain challenges
- Artistic expression
- Physical activity
Excellent ways for caregivers to help seniors with memory loss stimulate their minds include:
- Word games
- Art projects
- Baking or cooking together
- Reading books aloud
These activities have been proven time and time again to improve cognitive function and engagement among those with dementia. Plus, they’re enjoyable for the caregiver and their loved one.
Physical activities are essential for everyone. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia does not stop the body from needing exercise. People with memory loss have a high risk for problems with:
- Mood swings
- Irregular sleep patterns
A good workout, or a series of mini-works, can do wonders for mental health, body strength, and brain plasticity. Exercise also releases endorphins that can improve mood and self-esteem.
One of the most significant benefits of Alzheimer’s care communities is the opportunity for socialization. Interacting with others regularly is an excellent way to keep the mind active. Seniors with dementia who live at home may not get the same experience.
Dementia caretakers are often family members who also have to step up to become:
- Medication managers
- Aerobic instructors
- Cook and housekeeper
- A social outlet and friend
- Art teachers
The list of caretaking duties is endless. Nearly 300,000 people provide Alzheimer’s care to a family member in Washington. Puyallup dementia caregivers can find relief in communities like The Rivers at Puyallup.
Alzheimer’s Care: Washington Options
The Rivers at Puyallup provides Alzheimer’s care for seniors and family members south of Seattle and near the areas of Bonney Lake and Sumner. We recognize how important it is for caregivers to retain their loved ones’ memories.
We recently introduced Dr. Sandra Petersen’s Connections program into our senior living community in Pierce County. Our memory care team participates in Connections academy training to understand each resident’s unique needs.
Connections utilizes neuroplasticity treatments to give residents a higher quality of life filled with friendship and meaning. Our Puyallup dementia care team provides the following services and amenities:
- Engaging group and individualized activities
- Housekeeping and maintenance
- Nutritious chef-prepared meals
- Personalized activity of daily living assistance
- Medication management
- Private apartment or companion suite
- Comfortable and secure common areas
Welcome Puyallup Dementia Caregivers and Their Loved Ones
Remember, you are not alone. Our dementia care team is here as a resource in your journey as a caregiver. Contact us for personalized tours or additional support.