One of the most common questions I am asked by my clients is, “What do I say when residents repeatedly ask me to take them home?” If you work in long term care, you have encountered this before. You may have told the person, “You live here at Sunny Acres now.” Or you may have tried redirecting the person by changing the topic and never answered the question. Do you like to be redirected and ignored when you ask a question? My guess is no. People with memory loss can feel ignored too. Either response you tried likely did not solve the problem, and now both you and the elder feel bad. So, what do you do?
Seniors living in long term care communities have been more isolated than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic. It is especially confusing and isolating for people living with dementia. Many have been quarantined in their rooms for long periods of time and have little contact with others. Here are some unexpected but helpful tools to help meet their basic needs of companionship and communication.
For people living with dementia, reading is a preserved skill. Therefore visual aids that include written information can be used as memory supports. Memory books can improve quality of life by: Helping people remember important information Making conversation easier Reducing responsive (challenging) behaviors, such as exit seeking and repetitive questioning Providing reassurance and comfort [...]