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Memory care is a special kind of care provided to those with varying degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are the most recent articles on this topic from Avalon Memory Care.

Meaningful Connections Part Three: Empathy Is The Key

In this month’s Meaningful Connections blog, we share some ideas for using empathy and emotional intelligence to reach through the barriers of dementia and create meaningful interactions between you and your loved one. There are lots of subtle nuances that go into a meaningful conversation. Beyond just the words that are being spoken, we rely on non-verbal cues and our own personal experiences with the person in order to gain insight and meaning to what's being said (or what’s not being said). When you’re trying to connect with a loved one with dementia, sometimes conversation can be challenging and downright perplexing. Because of the way the disease progresses, your loved one’s communication style may become illogical and nonlinear, meaning you will have to read into their actions and motivations in order to understand what’s going on in their mind. Here are several ways you can use your emotional intelligence to push past difficulties and engage your loved one in a meaningful, fulfilling way. Recognize repetition as an invitation to explore. It’s common for a person with dementia to do or say something over and over, like a question or a word or even an activity. Taken on the surface, this can be incredibly frustrating for the other individual, especially if you’ve answered the same question over and over again. Instead of focusing on the action of the repetition, use your emotional understanding to look past the words and explore what the person is feeling or trying to say. Look for a reason Is your loved one trying to communicate something, or does repetition happen in certain surroundings or time of day? What may be causing this reaction? Focus on the emotion, not the behavior. Think [...]

By |2019-04-05T08:58:50-05:00April 5th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Socializing and Engagement: An Important Part of Memory Care

Human beings thrive on emotional connection. We are social beings, and are naturally drawn to each other to experience joy, sorrow, interest, excitement and every emotion you can think of. That need for socialization doesn’t go away as we age – in fact, it only increases in importance. For individuals living with a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease, staying socially engaged can actually help improve their quality of life.  Socialization – being with friends or loved ones, being involved in activities that are interesting to you or using your brain to solve a problem or perform a function – boosts your mood, improves your cognitive function and reduces stress. For memory care patients, being social and engaged reduces boredom, depression and disturbing behaviors as well as providing a sense of purpose and happiness. Here are four reasons why consistent engagement and socialization play such an important role in memory care: It improves brain health. Studies show that people in the early stages of dementia who have a broad social network have better cognitive function and a slower decline than those who are socially isolated. It provides a sense of belonging. Having a purpose is incredibly important to all of us, no matter how young or old we are. By interacting with others, we gain a feeling of belonging. Pair that with an exercise or activity that’s interesting or important to you, and your sense of self-worth increases. It can help enhance and maintain focus. When the brain is active and challenged, it becomes easier for older individuals to focus on tasks. This can help memory patients remain as independent as possible. It strengthens the connection to the present. Individuals with dementia often live in [...]

By |2019-03-29T08:49:56-05:00March 29th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Meaningful Connections Part Two: A Knack for Meaningful Conversations

In our first Meaningful Connections blog, we discussed tips for beginning a conversation with a loved on who has dementia. In this month’s blog, we have some ideas for making your conversations meaningful, engaging and fulfilling for both you and your loved one. As you know, a meaningful conversation is more than just exchanging words with one another. Connection occurs when we recognize each other as individual people, building upon existing relationships and shared interests and giving each other the opportunity to provide something to the other, whether it’s advice, assistance or even something as simple as a reason to laugh! Making meaningful conversation when a loved one has dementia can seem difficult at first because what seems logical to you will not always make logical sense to them. However, by looking at the conversation from different angles and searching for positive ways to interact, you and your loved one can successfully communicate and have fun, too! Make personal connections. Does your mom collect antique thimbles? Or perhaps your dad was an avid woodworker? Bring some objects of meaning with you during a visit, and have your loved one talk about their importance. While short-term memory is one of the first things to go, dementia patients can often clearly remember their past. Ask them to tell a story about their childhood, or go through a photo album and talk about the memories behind each photo. Use humor. Sharing a joke is a form of communication in and of itself, and a sense of humor is always appreciated no matter how old or young we are. Whether you’re watching a comedy or favorite TV show, or simply giggling together over something you did or said, laughing [...]

By |2019-03-22T08:50:38-05:00March 22nd, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

The Importance of Positive Environments For Memory Care Residents

Having a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease is disorienting, confusing and even frightening for the individual experiencing it. That’s why environments play such an important role in memory care treatment. A calming positive and soothing environment can play a significant role in a patient’s overall well-being and quality of life. Due to the nature of these cognitive diseases, creating a positive environment isn’t as easy as simply playing quiet music or minimizing distractions (although that can help greatly). Here is a closer view at how positive environments can be formed for memory care residents, and how they can help your loved one feel more confident and happy. What impact does environment have on seniors with memory issues? Due to the degenerative nature of dementias like Alzheimer’s, environments that were once familiar can suddenly become foreign. If there’s a lot of noise or distractions, it can be overwhelming. Things like shadows or even rugs can seem like empty holes in the floor or look like nightmarish figures. And when a person with memory issues becomes agitated, everything starts to become embroiled in a vicious cycle, leading to agitation and disruptive behaviors. A person with Alzheimer’s may wander if he or she doesn’t feel safe in the environment, or they may become physically aggressive. How can I create a positive environment for my loved one with dementia? If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, the most important thing is to have a familiar routine that he or she can understand and follow so they can feel like they’re at “home.” Here are some ways you can organize your home and routine in order to help your loved one: Clear your home of clutter and [...]

By |2019-03-15T09:21:25-05:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Meaningful Connections Part One: Beginning Your Best Connection

When your loved one has dementia, it can be difficult to know how to talk to them. It can become frustrating, difficult or even sad to see the person we know and love struggle to find words or become more and more withdrawn. While dementia means you may not be able to communicate with your loved one as you did before, take heart – it is still possible to have meaningful moments and fulfilling connections. While communicating with a person who has dementia can take practice, it’s a skill we can all learn with patience and understanding. By learning how to communicate meaningfully with your loved one, you’ll be able to strengthen and maintain the relationship you have while improving the quality of both your lives. Over the next several months, we will provide tips and advice for communicating with your loved one in our Meaningful Connections series of blogs. This month, we focus on setting the stage for meaningful interactions and how to initiate a conversation with a loved one who has dementia. Set realistic expectations. Understand that not every interaction with your loved one will go well. People with dementia have good days and bad days, just like all of us, and while sometimes they can be as sharp as a tack, there are other days when they may be too agitated or confused to carry on a conversation. Remember that spending time together is what’s most important – not what you do or what you talk about. Minimize distractions and be present. It’s hard for individuals with dementia to focus on more than one thing at a time. Before you begin any conversation, turn off the television or radio, shut the door if it’s [...]

By |2019-03-08T10:59:33-05:00March 8th, 2019|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Dedicated Memory Care Community vs. Assisted Living Community

When your loved one is diagnosed with a memory impairment such as Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia you know you will eventually need to find a community for them to call home. With both memory care and assisted living communities as options it can be confusing, what is the difference? Assisted Living Assisted Living communities tend to be designed to be larger in size to maximize the return on the construction investment.  However, larger communities are often more challenging for individuals with memory impairments. These types of communities can be confusing and over stimulating.  Typically assisted living offers assistance with medications, bathing, dressing, meals, and housekeeping.  The staff often have only a few hours of memory care training if any.  The majority of residents just need assistance with their activities of daily living. Memory Care Memory Care Communities such as Avalon Memory Care are specialized.  The communities are  deliberately designed to be smaller in size and exclusively with memory care in mind.  Each community often has shared living areas and offer family style dining options.  The teams at memory care communities receive specialized training and works each and every day with individuals with memory issues.  Programing and actives are also designed for those with dementia and other types of memory loss.  Often these communities are able to minimize medications because they better understand their resident. For over 25 years, Avalon has specialized in only memory services and prides itself on its individualized programing.  Our team understands each person is unique and our goal is to provide meaningful living each and every day. Making the best decision for your loved one’s future can at times be daunting.  We are here to help and answer your [...]

By |2018-11-19T14:00:48-05:00November 19th, 2018|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: Myth vs. Fact

It’s important to know the facts about Alzheimer’s because it is a progressive disease — meaning it worsens over time. Knowing the signs, and being able to tell fact from fiction, can provide clues to help you or your loved one get the support you need sooner. Here are some common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Myth: Memory loss is just a part of aging for everyone. Fact: While it’s true some short-term memory function declines as we age, Alzheimer's is more than occasional memory loss. When someone has Alzheimer’s, their brain cells malfunction and eventually die. When this happens, the person may forget the names of friends and family members or even how to get home. Myth: Alzheimer’s and dementia are pretty much the same thing. Fact: While Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, not all dementia is Alzheimer’s. Only a doctor may be able to tell the difference. Sometimes similar problems are caused by medication, vitamin deficiencies, other types of dementia or related conditions, and some can be reversed with treatment. Myth: There are treatments to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Fact: There is currently no treatment to cure, delay or stop the progression of these diseases. But there are medications for memory loss, and other treatments that can be helpful in managing cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Researchers continue to look for treatments to improve quality of life for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Myth: Only elderly people can get Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Fact: Younger- or early-onset Alzheimer's can strike people as young as 30 years old. It is estimated 200,000 of the over 5 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are under 65 years old. Myth: Alzheimer’s can be caused by aluminum cans or [...]

By |2018-09-12T10:57:48-05:00September 12th, 2018|Categories: Alzheimer's, Dementia, Memory Care|0 Comments

How to Help Seniors Manage Medications

Medication safety is a major issue for seniors and for those receiving Alzheimer’s care, it looms even larger. Memory loss can make medication management nearly impossible, which in turn can lead to serious consequences. These strategies can help all seniors and their families with medication management, especially those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Create a Medication Routine Working with doctors and pharmacists, you should find out how each individual medication should be taken, and then create a routine for taking the medicines at the appropriate times. For instance, some medications should be taken with food in the morning, and the routine could be to take those pills after breakfast. To maintain the routine and ensure that no doses get skipped or taken twice, use a pill organizer. If you have a loved one that is transitioning to a memory care home, discuss the routine with the staff there so that it can be maintained. Practice Safe Storage Leaving medications out and readily available can be dangerous for someone living with dementia, who may not remember if he or she has already taken the pills or may not know how many to take. Keep medications stored in locked cabinets so that only the pills necessary for that day are available. This will reduce the risk of overdoses. Periodically check the supply of medications and discard any expired pills or medicines that your loved one no longer needs. Consider How the Medicine is Taken For people with Alzheimer’s disease, swallowing can become difficult. If your loved one is struggling to take his or her medicine, talk to the doctor or pharmacist about using a different form, such as a liquid, or [...]

By |2018-09-11T16:23:29-05:00January 30th, 2018|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Celebrating New Year’s Day in Memory Care

Families often find that celebrations with their loved ones in memory care are easier when they embrace new traditions. For instance, it may not be practical to expect your loved one to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. Instead, consider throwing a New Year’s Day celebration, complete with a countdown to the first noon of the year. Bring the festivities to your loved one’s assisted living home, with an array of holiday foods and beverages. Give every resident a party hat and party horn. Toast to the New Year with champagne glasses of milk or sparkling juice instead of alcohol. You could even show a pre-recorded New Year’s Eve countdown on the TV. Other possible activities include writing lists of New Year’s resolutions and doing simple craft projects. Families are always welcome to visit their loved ones at Avalon Memory Care, a home-like dementia care location in Dallas, Arlington, and Houston. Questions about our Alzheimer’s care services may be directed to a friendly staff member at (214) 752-7050.

By |2018-09-11T12:08:20-05:00January 10th, 2018|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments

Visiting Your Aging Parent With Memory Loss at Avalon Memory Care

As a loving son or daughter, you naturally want the best of care for your senior parent. The compassionate assisted living caregivers at Avalon Memory Care want you to know that while your parent is living with us, he or she will receive nothing less than respectful, loving care within our comfortable, safe, and fully-staffed homes. We invite you to take your time while visiting your loved one here, and please do let us know if you have any questions about your parent’s memory care. Visiting Your Parent Our locations have warm visitation areas for families and a beautiful sitting area, with plenty of natural light for enjoying some board games, puzzles, or crafts with your parent. If the weather permits, you and your parent might also like to relax on the covered decks, or take a stroll around our gorgeous garden areas. Many families prefer to visit during the morning or early afternoon hours, as some of our residents with Alzheimer’s experience sundowning symptoms later in the evening. Sharing a Meal Family members are always welcome to share a meal with their loved ones in our comfortable dining room. Our chef-prepared meals are as delicious as they are nutritious. You and your parent can enjoy a pleasant conversation while dining on fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and fish, poultry, or lean meats. Bringing Additional Visitors During the holiday season, families often wish to visit their loved ones in groups. We have found that individuals receiving Alzheimer’s support services tend to become overwhelmed easily when overstimulated. It may be wise to limit the number of visitors to two or three at any given time. Bringing Personal Items Please do feel free to bring personal [...]

By |2018-09-11T16:32:53-05:00January 2nd, 2018|Categories: Memory Care|0 Comments