Despite what you heard time and again as a child, the answer is no…using facial expressions for an extended period will not make your face freeze that way. But when caring for a loved one with dementia, regular use of deliberate and positive facial expressions can provide concrete reassurance and solidify what you are trying to communicate.
Daily Care Tips
When you serve as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you’re no stranger to the struggles that both you and your loved one face. From behavioral and personality changes to changes in abilities and more, it’s a difficult journey. On top of all of these, mealtimes can also present a wide range of challenges. Suzy McCann, Community Relations Director of YourLife™ of Pensacola, a Memory Care community in Pensacola, FL, states that these challenges can, thankfully, be managed.
As a caregiver for a loved one with dementia, you have been through a lot. Perhaps you have been through some health decisions already and are beginning to realize the many decisions that you will have to make for your loved one in the coming future. “Planning ahead in terms of care for your loved one with dementia is an excellent idea,” states Suzy McCann, Community Relations Director of YourLife™ of Pensacola, a Memory Care community in Pensacola, Florida.
The sun rises, it’s been a long night of waking up with their loved one and they are tired. There’s no time to rest, however, it’s time to start the day’s routine. They get up, get themselves ready quickly and just in time to help their loved one dress, take the morning medication and fix a nutritious breakfast. Then it’s time for a quick walk outdoors, a purposeful activity, lunch along with afternoon medications, some relaxation while keeping busy to prevent a long nap, dinner and so much more.
The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone. From holiday shopping, meal prepping and planning, preparing the home and creating magical memories, there’s always so much to do. But for those caring for a loved one with memory loss, the list can get even bigger. This often leads to worsening amounts of stress, burnout and even depression for the caregiver, causing the holiday season to become less than jolly.
When a loved one has memory loss, the general rules for interaction and communication change drastically. The progression of a disease like dementia or Alzheimer’s interferes with a person’s way of thinking, reasoning skills and even their personality. These changes can make it frustrating for their families and friends to interact with them – unless they learn how.
Caring for a loved one with memory loss can be rewarding – and very, very frustrating. Throw in the emotional and physical tolls it can take on a family caregiver, and it’s easy to see how one can lose sight of the rewards. “Staying positive, especially as the person’s dementia progresses and care needs increase, can take a lot of patience and a lot of practice,” says Danielle Buck, Director of Community Relations at YourLife™ of Stuart, a Memory Care community in Stuart, Florida.
Not everything gets better with age…lookin’ at you, knees. With the side effects of aging come the abundance of medications we add to our pillboxes, and with those come the potential for side effects of their own making. So, how do we make sense of unexpected – and unwanted – side effects of medications?
The effects of stress have been studied for a long period of time. Not only can it decrease happiness and cause health problems, but it can also deeply impact your brain and memory power. Managing stress and finding ways to relieve it can help to ensure a healthy brain and mind for years to come.
When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, it is likely to come as a shock. Your loved one may have a hard time accepting the diagnosis, coping with what life could look like in a few years, worry about what people will think or even deny it altogether. Unfortunately, this can be particularly difficult for a caregiver. Caregivers are often the main source of support for their loved ones with dementia, and you may find that they withdraw or shut themselves off for a little while they come to terms with their dementia.