Caring for an elderly parent or loved one can be a stressful job, and one of the largest individual stressors here can be memory issues. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affect seniors most prominently, and for care givers, this can be difficult to manage.
At Cozy Retire, our memory care programs within our assisted living facility are designed to help ward off memory loss in a comfortable setting. Some of the same concepts we use can also be transferred to caregivers taking care of a loved one in a home setting – here are a few common mistakes people make within memory care, and how you can avoid them.
The assumption that you’ll be able to “fix” memory issues in a loved one is one of the most common mistakes many caretakers make. This isn’t a puzzle that has a final solution – memory loss is a permanent issue, and attempting to “solve” it will create more harm than good.
This kind of emphasis can turn memory care into a zero-sum equation, where your loved one becomes “wrong” while you’re “right.” This puts undue pressure on seniors, and may confuse or frustrate them. Instead, promote a safe and comfortable environment where those kinds of expectations are left behind.
Another common mistake is the flip side of the equation – over-coddling a loved one. Seniors may need assistance in certain areas, including memory, but this doesn’t mean they’re children and they should never be treated as such. Everyone respects being treated respectfully, especially during a tough period in life. There might be times where you have to slow things down or coddle, but do so within an appropriate context.
Memory care isn’t a test, with right and wrong answers, and this is another approach that will make many seniors very uncomfortable. Don’t constantly quiz a loved one on memories – this sets an expectation that their memory works as well as it always has, and if they don’t succeed, this can impact confidence. In addition, there’s zero scientific evidence that this kind of testing helps at all.
Want to learn more about promoting memory care for a loved one, or interested in any of the other services we provide at our retirement community? Speak to the caregivers at Cozy Retire today.