Coping Together: Surviving Isolation When You’re Caring for Someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s

caring for loved ones with dementia

We are all experiencing something never seen before in our lifetimes, and it has left many of us feeling confused and overwhelmed. Things are particularly challenging when you are in isolation as a caregiver of a senior with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s our goal to support you the best that we can during this difficult time. 

5 Activities for Adults with Dementia During Isolation

  1. Reminiscing: Set aside an afternoon to look at old books, magazines or photographs and take a walk down memory lane. This is an excellent way to engage, and it gives your loved one a chance to tell stories about meaningful events in his or her life.
  2. Engage the Senses: Choose 5 fun activities that engage each sense, like watching a favorite movie, playing music together, touching warm laundry as you fold it together, setting up a small tasting plate of different favorite foods or smelling fresh herbs and flowers in your garden.
  3. Spot the Difference: Spot the difference games are intellectually stimulating and fun. You can find pre-made spot the difference activities to print out online, or you could pull up two pictures of different animals or people on your phone and talk about what is the same and what is different.
  4. Plan Together: Baking is an awesome activity to do when cooped up at home. Ask your loved one to help make a grocery list to make a favorite recipe and then bake it together.
  5. Activities With Purpose: Household tasks, like organizing photos, weeding the garden or cleaning out drawers are an effective way to get important chores done and make your loved one feel purposeful.

3 Activities for Caregivers During Isolation

  1. Meditation: Numerous meditation apps and services, like Headspace, are offering free support during COVID-19. It’s a great time to start meditating!
  2. Yoga: Yoga is another wonderful way to find peace and strength during isolation. Search YouTube for free yoga videos or check on Facebook, where some gyms are offering free online exercise classes during this difficult time.
  3. Connect Online: If you normally had a relaxing lunch date with a friend every week or went to a caregiver support group, look for ways to meet online through free video chat services like Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom.

Quick Tips for Communication During Isolation

Communication changes when you talk with a loved one who has dementia, and some of the best quick tips to communicate effectively without arguing are:

  1. Understand that all communication is not verbal, and body language is critical.
  2. Avoid criticizing or correcting small mistakes, like an error in speech.
  3. Try to stay away from open-ended questions and stick to “yes” or “no” questions instead.
  4. Speak slowly and clearly and avoid giving multi-step instructions that might be overwhelming or confusing.
  5. Maintain eye contact.

Care for Your Senior Loved Ones with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect. For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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