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Creating Happy Memories for Dementia Patients and Loved Ones

Posted by ComForCare on March 17, 2015 at 9:17 PM

Originally posted on ComForCareFranchise.com

Dementia can make it difficult for seniors and their loved ones to enjoy one another’s company in the same way that the family is used to. Dementia can alter a person’s behavior and emotions in addition to memories and cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, dementia is a progressive disease, so it is important for families to make the most of the time with their loved one. Professional home caregivers may be able to help family members employ some tips and tricks that will help create happy memories for dementia patients and loved ones.

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Avoid Behavioral Triggers

It is very common for dementia patients to become upset by certain triggers. Triggers may include things like taking a shower, being asked to eat certain foods, or being introduced into an unfamiliar situation. Becoming aware of behavioral triggers can help families to avoid the situations or to understand why the situation triggers the behaviors. If a shower triggers an aggressive response, it may be because the bathroom is uncomfortably cold. Warming up the bathroom by running hot water for a few minutes prior to the shower may help family members and caregivers to avoid troubling incidents that may get in the way of happy times.

Play Familiar Music and Movies

Playing music and movies in the home that are from an era that is comforting to a dementia sufferer can help to lighten the mood and promote happier emotions. Music and movies can bring back memories of enjoyable times, which can be reassuring. Family members can ask their loved one to tell them about what songs mean to them or discuss their favorite parts of the movies to get a conversation started. This type of interaction can help to stimulate memory functions, which may even delay dementia symptoms in some cases.

Create a Memory Box or Scrapbook

A memory box or scrap book can be created by the dementia sufferer and a caregiver or family member. A memory box or scrapbook can be filled with different mementos, including pictures, event ticket stubs, recipes, information about the person’s likes and interests, awards that have been received, information about past jobs, and many other memory-inducing items. Creating a memory box or scrapbook is a fun, engaging activity. When the dementia sufferer looks back at these items, the person is much more likely to retain the connections and be comforted and uplifted.

Maintain a Sense of Humor

Maintaining a sense of humor can help families to continue to create happy memories after a dementia diagnosis. Dementia patients often retain their sense of humor and find jokes to be a comforting way to break the tension. Joking around and sharing life stories is a great way for family members to learn things that they didn’t know about their loved one while enjoying positive experiences with them.

 

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia

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