When a loved one has dementia, a simple interaction can be troublesome and difficult. Since connecting with others is at the core of human nature, it can be devastating when we feel as though we can no longer share or maintain that bond with a loved one. Even though circumstances are changing, there will always be ways that you can continue to connect and share those special moments with your loved one.
Look Though Old Photographs
Getting out some old photo albums is a great way to reminisce with your loved one and stir up old fond memories that they have. Having photos from their childhood or teenage years is the perfect way to enjoy some time together. This activity may calm anxiety and focus the attention of a loved one to a positive memory.
Watch their Favourite Old Movies
Is grandma’s favourite TV show Bewitched? Does your dad still love to reminisce about The Godfather and Dirty Harry? You can create regular movies nights and find a good selection to sift through online or Netflix.
Read Out Loud
Sometimes there’s nothing better than reading a good book. You can select your loved one’s favourite books and read aloud with them. This is also a great way to calm them and allow them to imagine the words and stories that are being shared.
Visit with Animals
If your loved one grew up with animals and pets, then visiting a petting zoo or spending some time with a neighbour’s cat or dog can be a rewarding experience.
Create a Favourite Playlist of Songs
If you know some of the favourite songs and artists that were a favourite for your loved one, then create a playlist, or you can find satellite radio stations that play specific tunes from each decade. They’ll love hearing those old tunes that will reminisce fond memories from their glory years. Music is always a great option to improve the overall mood of your loved one.
Encourage Old Skills
If your loved one used to play an instrument or was a master at knitting, place the instrument or yarn nearby for them to see. They can pick it up and begin to connect to memories of those items and even rekindle those old skills again.
Create a Memory Box
Having a memory box full of nostalgic items from their past can be a very effective way to connect with your loved on also. You can include their favourite scented items since scent is the strongest connection to memories. You can put in some decorative items such as pine cones and candy canes if they were particularly fond of the holidays. Get creative and continue to add items as you think of them.
When your loved has dementia and it feels as though the person you once knew has drifted away, they’re still very much present and in need of that bond and connection with others. They may not be able to communicate it, but companionship and sharing moments of fond memories is so necessary and important. Use these simple ways to strengthen your connection and brighten your loved one’s days.
At Qualicare Family Homecare, we know the value of human connection. Our caregivers provide companionship, support, and minimize stress on the family so you can enjoy quality time together. Give us a call at 613.366.2899 and let’s talk!