June 3rd, 2024
Memory loss is common with aging—especially within senior living communities in Hawaii. A loved one struggles to remember names, events, and routines. Communication becomes tricky and tough. You’re not sure how to cope. But trust us, you’re not alone. 

As senior living professionals, we assist residents with memory loss every day. And while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia is never easy, here are five tips that can help out.  

Tip #1: Patience is everything
If you’re having to repeat things over and over, no one would fault you for feeling frustrated. The best way to overcome these difficult emotions is simply to anticipate them. Remind yourself before entering the conversation to be mindful of your patience. If it starts to wear thin, step out, breathe, relax, and re-enter the conversation when you’re ready. 

Tip #2: Keep it simple
When engaging with any of our senior living residents in memory care, we try and keep communication simple: we use basic words, tell stories with less detail, and ask questions that require one or two-word responses. As your loved one’s memory loss progresses, keeping conversation simple can be very helpful. 

Tip #3: Relive old memories
Those struggling with memory loss might still recall events from the distant past. Connect with your loved one by talking through a cherished memory from long ago. You might’ve gone through this story a dozen times, but reliving a meaningful moment will help you bond.  

Tip #4: Agree to disagree
When speaking with someone suffering from memory loss, disputing names and details won’t get you anywhere. Avoid the need to prove yourself right. Along with being pointless, it’ll leave you and your loved one feeling upset. If an argument comes up, find a way to politely change the subject. 

Tip #5: Give your undivided attention
Put away your smartphone, lower the TV volume, sit directly in front of your loved one, and calmly repeat their name until they’re engaged. If communication is already a challenge, any kind of distraction can be detrimental to holding a conversation. When you have their attention, it’s important they have yours. 

Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any other form of memory loss requires care, compassion, and often the need for professional assistance. At the Plaza, we have many senior care options available, like our Hali‘a Memory Care program. We’re also home to one of the best retirement communities in Hawaii. Don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or would like to speak with someone on our team.

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