Supporting your spouse as they experience memory loss can be a frustrating, challenging, and emotional experience. Once you’ve made the difficult decision to move your loved one to a memory care community, you might be feeling unsure of how to make the most out of visiting with them. You may also wonder how you best can support and enjoy them.
The communication and activity needs of our loved ones in memory care will change over time. It’s important to be aware of these changes and move along with them in order to have the most fulfilling and productive visits.
Discover the best ways to communicate and enjoy time with your spouse throughout the early and later stages of memory loss, and how a memory care community can support and enrich you both while visiting your spouse in memory care.
How to navigate memory loss in a spouse
As painful as it can be to watch your spouse’s memory loss progress, it’s important to focus on the simple moments and memories you can share. We must make adjustments for our loved ones dealing with memory loss — not expect them to adjust for us.
If you’re serving as a caregiver for your spouse, it may come to a point where their needs exceed what you are able to provide. If this is the case, moving to a memory care community can be the best option for you both.
How a memory care community can support you and your loved one
The right memory care community can change everything for both you and your loved one. Communities such as Kensington Place Redwood City offer memory care that will allow your loved one to age in place and receive differing levels of care at the pace they need.
Knowing your spouse is receiving 24-7 professional and loving care will give peace of mind. You now can focus on simply enjoying your time with your spouse, rather than worrying about their health and safety.
Plus, you’ll have support and guidance from the community as your loved one’s condition progresses.
Visiting a loved one in the early stages of memory loss
In the early stages of memory loss, your loved one might experience confusion and difficulty recalling recent events. They may have trouble making decisions or processing conversations. It can take some trial and error to discover which activities and conversation topics you both can enjoy together.
Notice how your loved one responds, and adjust accordingly. If they begin to get frustrated while playing a card game you both used to love, or they are upset that they can’t remember a particular conversation or memory you bring up, gently redirect the activity or conversation.
Don’t respond to their frustration by arguing, but remain calm and acknowledge how they feel.
Make their room comfortable, cheerful, and familiar. Add:
- Family photos
- Favorite books
At Kensington Place Redwood City, you can enjoy the community’s amenities together and create new activities. Have a special meal together in the elegant dining room, or go for a walk on the grounds. If you aren’t able to visit in person, use Slack or video chat to connect virtually, watch movies, or listen to music together.
Make an effort to get to know the staff working with your loved one, and ask questions about how to best interact with your spouse at the different stages of memory loss.
How to adjust visiting in memory care as memory loss progresses
In the later stages of memory loss, the focus shifts to comfort and quality of life. Share in activities that stimulate the senses and stir up pleasant memories. These activities can include the following:
- Looking at old photos
- Listening to music
- Visiting with a pet
- Doing simple puzzles
- Watching beloved movies, or documentaries on subjects they enjoy
- Coloring or painting
- Bringing them familiar, cherished items
In the late stages, you may need to introduce yourself when you arrive. This can be painful for someone as close to the person as a spouse is, but it’s important to remember that it’s not their fault, and it’s not something to take personally.
Focus on soaking up the simple, day-to-day moments, rather than mourning what you no longer have with this person. Point out your surroundings or bring something to use as a conversation starter.
If they bring up the same topics or ask the same questions repeatedly, answer the question and redirect the conversation to something familiar and comforting. It can be helpful for you both to remain in the moment with each other or reminisce on soothing, old memories to help you feel close to each other. Reminisce therapy is a helpful and healing activity as memory loss progresses.
Expert and loving memory care that feels like home
When choosing a community for your spouse, you want the best care that feels like home. Redwood City has two cozy, intimate memory care neighborhoods to provide the appropriate level of expert care to your loved one: Connections and Haven.
The Connections neighborhood is for residents in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, while Haven is for residents in the middle to late stages. These peaceful neighborhoods were crafted for ultimate safety, security, and comfort based on the specific needs of the residents.
The Kensington Place Redwood City team is made up of caring individuals focused on maintaining a tranquil environment. Our Promise is to appreciate and honor every resident as if they’re our family, and one of the ways we live out this Promise is by building upon the strengths of each resident to keep them feeling happy and full of purpose.
Call us today to learn more about our memory care communities and our dedicated team. We will provide you with support and peace of mind during the difficult decision to move to a community.