When a family member lives alone or in an assisted living situation, staying connected with other family members becomes even more important than ever. The loneliest and most vulnerable can quickly begin to entertain feelings of uselessness or non-importance. At the same time, as family and friends, we can fail to set aside time for those we do not interact with daily in our busy lives. This avoidance can be especially true of those who have developed behaviors that may be considered difficult yet are manifestations of a condition they must live with, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The constantly repetitive questions about the same subjects can be exasperating and agitate even the calmest personalities. Yet, there are ways to still connect with these family members in a rewarding way, with an open mindset. Sharing time with your loved one can be pleasant.
There have been several studies conducted on the effects music has on patients living with dementia illnesses. Rather than working to keep up a conversation that may be leading to frustration, turn on music that your loved one can relate to. Some people warm up to the hits of the 60s and 70s. Others may enjoy listening to the music of the big band era or classical music.
Singing songs or hymns is also a way of bringing people together. Some individuals who otherwise seem despondent seem to come to life when they are encouraged to sing favorite songs. It may take a little time to find just the right tunes, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
When distance is a problem, video chatting can melt the miles away. Today’s devices make video chatting a breeze. Whether using a smartphone or tablet, video chat is a way to keep your loved ones close by and up to date on all the family doings. During the pandemic, this mode of communication became an essential tool for keeping many families in touch with one another.
Cards and Letters
Even though today’s technology has rendered letters somewhat obsolete, there is still a case for this method of communication. Texts and emails have their place but physically holding a card or letter from a loved one is now a very special way of communicating. Unfortunately, you cannot pin a text to the wall, and even when you print out an email, it can still seem cold and impersonal compared to the handwritten word.
When writing to your loved one, be sure to consider their eyesight. You may need to print in large letters to make reading easier for them. Even if they cannot read your letter or card, having someone read it to them is still meaningful.
Keeping the bonds of connection strong is a habit you may want to form sooner rather than later. Enjoying the good times together, recounting them in letters or cards makes lasting memories for everyone.
Gianna Homes celebrates the moments of living. Contact us for information about our services and how we can help with memory care.