Helping Your Loved Ones Hold On to the Past this Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when families get together and talk about all the good times they’ve had over the years. This Thanksgiving, we will all most likely gather around the table and take a collective trip down memory lane. Sometimes, there are instances where you try to recall a memory but you just can’t grasp it from your recollection. While this type of occurrence may seem a rare occasion for most, for those dealing with dementia it is a recurring event that can be frustrating and painful. And as these lapses progress, it can be difficult for a family member or caregiver to interact or help a loved one in a way that doesn’t create anxiety or frustration.
As dementia progresses, it can be difficult for those affected to recall the memories that most of us hold to be the most precious. From general private conversations to interactions with friends and family it can become increasingly difficult for some dementia suffers to continue participating in conversational discussions, or to recall memories past. In order to assist your loved one and to help make them feel comfortable and less anxious this holiday season, it can help to take on a new perspective.
Caring for a family member with dementia “is really all about communication,” said theater professor at UWM Ann Basting. Basting has developed a method to help caregivers communicate with those who suffer from memory loss. Those who have learned Basting’s method claim it has really helped them in creating a comfortable environment where their loved one feels safe and less anxious.
Bastings method adjusts the manner in which you would conduct traditional conversations. For example instead of asking a direct question, you would instead comment on something with a statement like “look at that pretty tree”. By changing the direction of the inquisition it allows them to process the statement and add to it, rather than panicking at not being able to answer a question outright. “You’re allowing a person to express through metaphor rather than necessarily fact,” said Basting. This type of communication is an adjustment and may take time to alter your instinct, but according the Basting this method has helped many caregivers.
Here at Freedom Home Care we are here to support you and your loved ones through this stage in life. To learn more about dementia or Alzheimer’s, for more tips about seniors and the holiday season, or to find out more about our services for in home care, give us a call at 1 (877) 262-1223.