Animals Can Help Ease the Effects of Dementia

aviary copyWhen residents of the Lehigh Valley look for a memory care community, there are several things they consider: safety, medical care, environment, location, cost, dining experience, and so on. These are all vital to the quality of life of a dementia patient. But there can be another aspect of care brought on by unique residents of a care community: animals!

Most people grow up in homes with pets or acquire pets when they get older. Dogs, cats, birds, and the like become members of the family. With precautions, Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients can have pets to bring them comfort and companionship. Pet-assisted therapy has become an accepted and beneficial treatment for people with dementia. By their very nature, animals do not judge, and they are not critical. And for someone with dementia, those qualities make them a good companion. Their very presence can help reduce the effects of dementia: anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, and loneliness. By their friendliness and non-threatening way, animals can help a dementia patient be more interactive, when sometimes they are not able to do so in social settings with other adults.

Read more: Animals Can Help Ease the Effects of Dementia

Holiday Hints for Alzheimer's Caregivers

alzheimers holiday hints inline 0In the Lehigh Valley, with its festive displays and holiday traditions, holidays can be meaningful, enriching times for both the person with Alzheimer’s disease and his or her family. Maintaining or adapting family rituals and traditions helps all family members feel a sense of belonging and family identity. For a person with Alzheimer’s, this link with a familiar past is reassuring.

However, when celebrations, special events, or holidays include many people, this can cause confusion and anxiety for a person with Alzheimer’s. He or she may find some situations easier and more pleasurable than others. The tips below can help you and the person with Alzheimer’s visit and reconnect with family, friends, and neighbors during holidays. South Mountain Memory Care in Emmaus not only cares about our residents — We are concerned about your peace of mind as a caregiver, too.

Read more: Holiday Hints for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Help for Long-Distance Caregivers

Being a caregiver is a challenge in and of itself. The current pandemic has made travel and visitation difficult, leaving many caregivers wondering how to meet the needs of their loved ones — even wondering if they are meeting their needs, as well as their own needs. Many times, caregivers feel they occasionally need caregivers of their own.

Local agencies are available in the Lehigh County area that can help take the stress out of worrying if your loved one is being taken care of when you can’t be there.

Read more: Help for Long-Distance Caregivers

Is My Loved One in Danger of Wandering?

The Lehigh County area has many wonderful attractions and places to visit for people of all ages. However, any place can be threatening for a person with dementia. One significant danger for a person with dementia is the possibility of him or her wandering off without notice and often without proper clothing, medicine, or other essentials. An estimated 60% of people with dementia will wander off at some point. A person with Alzheimer’s may not remember his or her name or address and can become disoriented and not know where they are or where they are going.

Read more: Is My Loved One in Danger of Wandering?

How to Cope when Mom and Dad Say, “Nope!”

old man angryAs parents age, their needs and preferences change, from simple things like TV shows to life-altering needs for new surroundings. When a loved one has lived in his or her home or neighborhood for decades, or has lived alone without help for most of his or her life, facing a major change can be frightening and even insulting. It can be seen as the last step to eternity, as being discarded, or the person may feel useless, especially after a lifetime of working and raising children. It may feel like the end of freedom or a chance for the family to manipulate their “doddering fool” parent.

 

Needless to say, under any of the above scenarios, conflicts can threaten relationships between aging parents and their adult children, just at the time when understanding and support are needed most. Bad feelings, such as resentment and fear, can undermine any chance of working together. Parents being parented is a difficult transition to make.

Read more: How to Cope when Mom and Dad Say, “Nope!”

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