It can be a scary experience the first-time mom can’t remember an important event or dad has trouble recalling your name. It may leave you angry, worried, and confused – a mix of the same emotions your loved one is also feeling.
When a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia comes along, it not only impacts the individual but the entire family that loves and cares for them.
But a diagnosis like this doesn’t mean your loved one has to sacrifice their quality of life.
Evin at Oconomowoc offers a safe and secure memory care community. Our well-trained clinical team works diligently every day to provide high-quality, specialized care for your loved one.
One of the most significant drawbacks associated with memory loss is the feeling of social isolation and loneliness.
Socialization is important for everyone, but it becomes even more critical for those with Alzheimer’s or related dementia.
Socializing in a memory care community can provide your loved one with both human and environmental interaction that they may not otherwise be able to receive at home.
All activities are held in a controlled climate, so you know your loved one is safe. Planned social activities can help stimulate their senses by experiencing new locations and different smells – even interacting with young children and animals.
If you’re feeling uneasy about the decision to move your loved one to a memory care community, here are the top five benefits that socialization can provide for them.
It’s easy for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to feel devalued and lose their sense of self-worth along with their diagnosis. They can have feelings of losing control and not being able to trust their own judgment.
This can cause anxiety and depression.
It’s vital to treat a person with memory loss as kindly and politely as possible. This will help evoke feelings of being worthwhile and valued.
In a memory care community, your loved one will be able to interact with others and perform small tasks. Even ordinary tasks such as helping set a meal table and washing up afterward can ease feelings of helplessness and improve feelings of self-worth and belonging.
Feelings of loneliness can be complex.
Loneliness doesn’t only refer to being physically alone. People with dementia can feel lonely if they aren’t a part of a group or conversation. They can also feel lonely if they’re having a hard time participating in an activity.
Memory care communities use controlled socialization and individualized care to help combat feelings of loneliness.
Research has shown that even one hour per week of socialization can help dementia patients by reducing agitation levels and improving their quality of life.1
Increased awareness of the ‘here and now’ can help your loved one with memory loss. Any activity – from playing a game to petting an animal – helps them focus on what is happening right in front of them.
Being mindful of the present moment can help strengthen the brain and make them more equipped to handle their emotions.
Memory care communities provide a daily routine for your loved one, which gives them a sense of normal structure.
Structured routines help stimulate the part of the brain that is connected to time and place, so people with memory loss have more of a sense of a “start” and “end” point.2
Think of your brain as a muscle – it needs activity to stay fit.
Social interaction can have some major positive effects on the brain.
Studies have shown that people who are offered a wide range of social activities in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia have an overall slower rate of memory loss.3
Memory care communities offer daily activities so your loved one has a variety of opportunities to engage in social and meaningful hobbies that they enjoy.
Even if they don’t prefer a group setting, socializing one-on-one with another resident or caregiver can also be beneficial.
Put yourself in your loved one’s shoes.
Imagine how frustrating it would be to feel helpless and out of control because you can’t remember things. You’re no longer able to take care of yourself and must depend on others to do so.
People with memory loss may be agitated and lash out – not because they are angry with you – but frustrated because of the restrictions dementia has put on their lives.
Socializing and keeping active in a memory care community helps people with dementia gain a little more control.
They no longer have time to sit and get lost in their own thoughts because they’re busy with a project or playing a game with others.
Socializing creates overall happiness and decreases feelings of agitation for your loved one.
Learn more about Koru Heath’s safe and supportive memory care communities here.