As the Lehigh Valley works its way through what we call “the holiday season,” there is increased activity as friends, family, and neighbors gather together to celebrate their traditions. After a season of relief from some restrictions, fears of a new wave of COVID-19 restrictions may make it difficult to visit family and friends in care communities, which can take an emotional effort to begin with. During the holidays, people with Alzheimer’s can feel especially lonely, a feeling magnified by the weirdness of the current pandemic and its conditions.

According to a recent survey, almost half of the public thinks it’s pointless to keep in contact with dementia patients who cannot recognize familiar faces or remember anything “meaningful.” When visitation restrictions are in place, it is easier to become complacent about visiting your loved ones. This is a sad state of affairs because, although memories of events may fade, they can still feel and remember feelings long after events. Holiday blues can affect people with Alzheimer’s, so this is not the time to neglect them.

About half of people with Alzheimer’s do not participate in social activities, and even more than that feel isolated after receiving their diagnosis. This is a critical time for socialization and interaction. For Alzheimer’s patients, time with loved ones still has a lasting impact.

Here are five reasons to keep in touch with your loved one, even if they don’t recognize you or respond as you’d expect or like:

  1. They may enjoy calls and visits, even if they don’t remember your name or your relationship.
  2. Socialization can help your loved one to relax and enjoy a better mood.
  3. Although their cognitive memory may be weak, their emotional memory may help them remember how they felt, even after forgetting the details of the event that brought the good feeling.
  4. They may recognize you even if they cannot express it.
  5. Your loved ones may not remember their relationship with you, but they may remember how often you call or visit.

South Mountain Memory Care focuses on high-quality, personalized care. South Mountain Memory Care is proud to offer a wide range of resident-focused daily activity programming to our residents. Each neighborhood offers activity space for group and one-on-one activities.

The brand-new building is a stand-alone memory care community, meaning that the entire building, staff, and programs, are designed to serve residents with cognitive issues. To ensure person-centered care and attention, we have accommodations for up to 28 residents. The building is divided into two neighborhoods (wings), each offering 10 private suites and 2 semi-private suites. South Mountain Memory Care is located in the Allentown suburb of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and is easily accessible from the Lehigh Valley, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. For more information, go to southmountainmemorycare.com.