Memory care offers with cognitive engagement, social opportunities, and an improved quality of life to aging individuals with memory-related conditions. People with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease will receive care from highly-trained team members and can look forward to experiencing fewer symptoms and requiring lesser medical visits. However, before your aging loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s can benefit from memory care, you need to talk about memory care with them. This will help them cope with the transition that may be highly overwhelming. Follow these steps to improve your conversation with your aging loved one.
Get the Family Involved
Before approaching your aging loved one about making a move to memory care, reach out to your family members and get them involved in the decision-making process. This can help you to build a supportive and united front. Some key strategies that can help make this process simpler especially if there are divided opinions on the move.
Active listening is a communication tactic grounded in empathy. It may be easy to formulate your own response when others are talking but active listening can help counter this and encourage participants to stay in the present. Features of active listening are as follows:
- Paraphrasing and asking for clarification can help to summarize a loved one’s thoughts.
- Validation lets others know that you are considering their feelings.
- Ask questions to give you a lens into someone else’s perspective.
- Use “I” statements to focus on your feelings instead of directing judgment or anger at someone else.
Seek Credible Third-Party Opinion
When family members struggle to agree, consult a third party who has expertise in senior living or senior health. This can help your family to derive with an informed decision. Getting a mediator can help you come up with a solution that best meets the needs of your loved one and are favorable for your whole family.
List Down the Caregiver’s Experience
Most often than not, tensions arise between a caregiver and other siblings. Dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms may not be easy to observe from a single interaction, but a caregiver has a more extensive view. It is recommended for the caregiver to keep a journal to pen down their daily interaction with their aging loved one. This can be shared with other siblings and relatives who may not already be aware of the older adult’s condition and to help them understand why memory care may be necessary.
Tour Memory Care Communities
Take a tour of memory care communities on your own before having a conversation with your aging loved one. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore the many senior living amenities, activities, and programs that are offered there that you think might benefit your aging loved one. You can also observe how the community team interacts with one another and with other residents to know what your loved one can expect when they have moved in. You may also ask essential questions that can help you make an informed choice about moving your loved one to memory care.