One of the worst aspects of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is the loss of your memory. This creates a tremendous amount of frustration for your loved one suffering from it and brings about profound sadness in you as their caregiver. If you are taking care of a parent or grandparent who suffers from Alzheimer’s, you may want to know about a technique for facilitating communication with your loved one that also reduces their frustration at not being able to remember various people, places and events from the past.
Talking About Old Times
It’s a fairly common practice for family members of someone with Alzheimer’s to talk about previous events and perhaps even show photos and ask them if they remember the people or events being depicted. They believe this will help to stimulate their memory and help them reconnect with their life. The problem is that this can end up only increasing their frustration at how their memory is slipping away. Instead of trying to get them to dredge up memories, even pleasant ones, it can be far more helpful to let them create their own new stories.
Restore the Power of Storytelling to Your Loved One
Whenever you’ve taken family trips to visit aunts and uncles throughout your life, you quickly realize that telling stories is one thing seniors excel at. As they get older and no longer work after retiring, this is one way many seniors feel they can still contribute. Often, a photo of something that happened many years before might be the focus of a story.
When your loved one has Alzheimer’s, however, showing them pictures of old family members and events and asking if they remember what’s going on can be frustrating when they can’t. This is why it’s been suggested by some that you allow them to create new stories. You simply show them a photo that doesn’t contain anyone they know but that depicts an interesting situation and ask them open-ended questions about what’s in the photo while coaxing them into creating their own narrative for it.
Communication is important to help keep us connected with those around us, and this exercise stimulates it in those who may no longer be able to remember many actual stories to tell. The act of simply showing a thought-provoking photo to your suffering loved one and then asking open-ended questions about it and then validating whatever their response is has been seen by some to have an almost magical effect to get once quiet and isolated loved ones to open up and engage with family again. This practice works best in a group setting, such as at a care center, due to the reinforcement from others, but it can still work in a one-on-one setting between you and your parent.
The Importance of Good Care for Alzheimer’s Sufferers
Our team at Home To Stay Health Care in Cherry Hill NJ brings this technique to you in the hopes that it will help you in relating to your loved one suffering from dementia. As a premier provider of non-medical home care for seniors in Southern New Jersey, we know how important it is to help keep seniors engaged and communicative through the ravages of this awful disease. While we excel at providing an array of home care services in Monroe Twp NJ & nearby towns for the needs of the elderly to help them stay at home through their twilight years, we are particularly proud of our at-home Alzheimer’s care. As one of the only certified providers of the AlzBetter care program in our area, we are the place to call for helping to preserve your parent’s dignity throughout this trying time.