In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, “social distancing” has become an all-too-familiar term in our vocabulary. Although designed to protect our more vulnerable older Americans from contracting the virus, social distancing can also cause loneliness and isolation in seniors. These issues can be highly challenging for our senior population even in the best of times.
With our aging population and the significant increase in memory loss among older Americans, it is vitally important for families to understand the differences between normal aging, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Experts on memory loss at the Alzheimer’s Association® and the Mayo Clinic® emphasize that memory loss is clearly not part of the normal aging process and should be addressed immediately by a medical professional.
In today’s world, there are prescriptions or other medications available for just about every problem a senior adult may face today. “It can be very easy for older adults to lose track of the many prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs they are taking,” says Steve Carney, Wellness Coordinator/Administrator at ImpressionsMemory Careat Bryn Mawr,located inBryn Mawr, PA.
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can make families and friends uncertain of how to celebrate the holidays with their loved one. They might get caught up worrying about how to balance the holidays around their loved one’s routine or if the holiday excitement will induce any anxiety or discomfort. Just like any holiday gathering, it requires planning ahead and a positive attitude.
Nutrition and good appetites are key to maintaining the health of those with dementia. Trouble with physical mobility, appetite or overwhelming environment can make mealtimes difficult. Dining shouldn’t be a challenge or a time for stress, it should be a time to enjoy a meal in a social setting and participate in conversations with others.
This quote rings true today, even for loved ones living with memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In fact, experts tell us that reminiscing about the “good old days” is not only possible for those with memory loss, it also very pleasant and helpful to them.