When your parent has Alzheimer’s, you’ll eventually need to spend more time in their past than in the present or even recent past. Your mom or dad will forget things that happened hours, days, or even weeks ago. You’ll find that there are certain decades that stand out and lead to excitement. It’s easier to engage when you find those decades.
Explore the past with your parent. A good way to find the right time period is by looking at photos. See if your parent’s hometown has a website or social group on a site like Facebook. If it does, find old pictures that others have posted. Show them to your mom and see what most gets her talking. Once you have the time period down, you can start creating activities that help you go back in time together.
Create a Memory Box.
Many memory care facilities use memory boxes rather than name tags to help people with Alzheimer’s find their room. Fill a memory box with things that bring joyful memories. It may be a picture of her siblings, her parents, or you as a baby. A favorite childhood toy, a dried flower, or a replica of her very first car are other ideas that work well in memory boxes.
Take a Trip Together.
Taking a trip back to your mom’s hometown or a place she lived when she was younger can be very rewarding. There will be some changes, but you can take her to the house or building where she lived and see if anything has changed. Take her to parks, stores, or restaurants she enjoyed. Historic sites won’t have changed too much.
For example, if she lived in San Francisco in the 1970s, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and places like Lombard Street won’t have changed much. Restaurants and stores may have. Focus on sites that will remind her of the past and get her talking about her experiences.
Set Up a Digital Picture Frame.
Scan all of your mom’s old photos and store them in a digital picture frame. She’ll be able to look at it and see images of people from her past, things she did for fun, and places she’s gone. You could also set them up on a DVD that she can play on her TV.
Over time, your mom will need more care. You and other family members may decide to split up duties. Leave room in the schedule for breaks. You’ll want respite care to keep from burning out. If you’re stressed, your mom will pick up on it.
Elderly care services can provide respite care or help with tasks that your mom doesn’t like you helping with. She may not be comfortable with you helping her shower or get dressed.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from elderly care in Walnut Creek, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.