If you’re caring for a parent or family member who is living with cognitive change, you’re likely familiar with how important healthy food, restful sleep and medical care are to their overall quality of life. But you may not have realized the importance of social relationships and staying connected to others.
Studies have shown that socializing is nearly as influential to one’s health as diet and exercise. For those living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it is just as important, but may be more challenging to achieve. Some families might notice behavioral changes in their loved one, including a tendency to withdraw from others, which can lead to isolation and poor social connection.
If your spouse, parent or family member could use some help and encouragement to stay connected to and interacting with others, you might want to consider these tips:
- Offer companionship
Understand how important engagement with others is to your loved one. Look for ways to provide genuine companionship and support as they navigate new challenges.
- Arrange for family and friends to visit
Others may be unsure if visits are welcomed. Encourage family and friends to remain in contact and give them suggestions on how to make visits pleasant and beneficial.
- Create a comfortable environment for socializing
Take steps to make your loved one, and the space, as comfortable as possible. Crowded places or loud rooms may increase anxiety.
- Personalize the time
Make sure you tailor any visits and activities to the likes and preferences of your family member. Avoid any “one-size-fits-all” plans or expectations of what an activity should accomplish.
How a Memory Care Community Can Help
A memory care community can provide therapies, activities and group gatherings that encourage residents to engage with each other and the community as a whole. The care team understands the importance of social interaction and are there to build personal, rich relationships with those they care for. Memory care communities can also be a great resource for the family as they learn how to navigate the challenges that come with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or your loved one, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at 1-866-ESKATON (1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.