Just because your loved one may be struggling with some cognitive impairments, you still want them to enjoy life with those they care about and love. Regardless of their current mental state, you, as a friend, family member, or caregiver can help them have the best time possible, certainly meaningful. The thing to remember is that your loved one may react differently in social environments at different stages of the disease. As the stages advance, your loved one will require extra caution and patience in the process. However, no matter the stage, there are some common things to keep in mind that will help ensure your loved one have a great time at a social event.
Chances are your loved one will have some memories that can connect them to the event they're going to attend. Talk to them about what they will be doing and the people they will be seeing. Remember that the more familiar your loved one is with these things and the more you talk about them, the better chance they won't feel uneasy and socially awkward at the event. It's also important to keep in mind that you need to take your loved oneâ€™s personality into account as well, when they are lucid as well as moments when the disease seems to be getting the best of them.
Sensory items also play a big part in making your love one feel comfortable in a social environment. Smells can invoke wonderful memories and set your loved one at ease. Food also makes a great association with one's past. You might even try speaking to the event coordinator about making special arrangements to include foods on the menu that your loved one is most familiar with. It wouldn't be a good idea to feed them differently than everyone else, as that might make them feel singled out and even more confused than they already feel. If there are going to be new sounds and smells and tastes at this event, you can try to begin to incorporate these items into your loved oneâ€™s daily routine well ahead of the day. This will help increase the chance that things will be familiar to your loved one on the day of the event.
If your loved one is living in a senior living community in Sugar Land like Clayton Oaks Living, the memory care program staff will be able to facilitate a social event at almost any time, and arrange it so that the event is managed with your loved oneâ€™s best interest at heart. The environment in a memory care community is much more controlled than some place else unfamiliar. It's also easier to control the time of the event, as it's best to keep your loved one in their daily routine and keep the amount of time interacting with others to a minimum.
If you have any questions about social interaction for Seniors with Alzheimerâ€™s or dementia, the memory care staff at Clayton Oaks Living in Richmond, TX near Sugar Land would be happy to speak with you.