Communicating With Someone with Memory Loss
Just like every other stage mentioned by Shakespeare in his famous ‘Seven Ages of a Man,’ old age is an inevitable yet beautiful phase of human life. After spending decades juggling a career and family, years spent striving to put food on the table, and going through a myriad of life experiences, our senior loved ones deserve all the love, empathy, and kindness in the world.
It’s projected that by 2035, there will be around 78 million elderly people living in the United States. This increase puts an immense responsibility on our shoulders to give them the kind of care they need.
One of the most pressing issues with senior loved ones is that of memory loss. Let’s read up about it and see how we can play our part.
Why does memory loss occur?
Memory loss among the elderly is as normal as loss of teeth in a little child. Forgetfulness happens when the hippocampus in our brain starts deteriorating. In some cases, the proteins that repair brain cells decline in number. As a result, the person first starts losing track of things like where they kept their car keys, and eventually suffers from memory lapses.
How to communicate with senior loved ones who suffer from memory loss?
The first step is always to make elderly people around you feel like they’re understood, well cared for, and loved. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can do this:
- Never use logic:If a senior loved one can’t possibly remember whether they took their medicines, even if they do remember everything else, it’s not their fault. Memory loss is a biological phenomenon. Avoid arguing. Avoid telling them they could remember it if they tried. Avoid mentally pressurizing them. Listen with your heart.
- Break down the questions:If you’re a bank owner and a senior person visits you to inquire about their bank account details, try and break down everything you say to make it understandable. Instead of asking for all their credentials in one go, split them up and make it easy. If you’re a doctor, don’t ask them about their daily routine. This might be hard for them to recall. Instead, you can ask them what they had for breakfast, whether they went for a small exercise session after that, and whether they took their medicines immediately after.
- Focus on what’s important:If it’s not necessary for them to remember a certain event, drop it. When you’re telling them something, only tell them what they really need to know. Skip details that don’t matter. By giving out too much at a time, you’ll just overwhelm the senior loved one and will confuse them further.
If you’re looking for a senior living care community in Encino CA, for the elderly in your family, we will be glad to assist. At AvantGarde Senior Living, our staff is well trained to give our senior loved ones the empathy and care that they need. For further details, feel free to contact us online. You can also give us a call at (818) 881-0055.