If you are caring for a parent or family member who is living with cognitive changes, you probably know how important healthy eating, restful sleep, and medical care are to their overall quality of life. But you may not have realized the importance of socializing and staying connected to others.
Studies have shown that socialization is almost as influential on health as diet and exercise. For people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, this is just as important, but it can be more difficult to achieve. Some families may 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 needs help and encouragement to stay in touch and interact with others, you may want to consider these tips:
- Give companionship
Understand how important engagement with others is to your loved one. Look for ways to offer them real company and support as they face new challenges.
- Arrange for family and friends to visit
Others may not know if visits are welcome. Encourage family and friends to stay in touch and give them suggestions on how to make visits enjoyable 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 noisy rooms can increase anxiety.
- Customize the time
Be sure to tailor all tours and activities to the tastes and preferences of your family member. Avoid any “one size fits all” plan or expectation of what an activity should accomplish.
How a Memory Care Community Can Help
A memory care community may offer therapy, activities, and group meetings that encourage residents to engage with each other and with the community as a whole. The healthcare team understands the importance of social interaction and is there to build rich, personal relationships with those they care for. Memory Care Communities can also be a great resource for the family as they learn to overcome the challenges that come with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
If you’re wondering if a retirement home might be the best choice for you or your loved one, we’re here to answer all of your questions. Call us at 1-866-ESKATON (1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.