In addition to Independent Living and Assisted Living, Sagora Senior Living is proud to offer Memory Care living options for our residents. As we understand that Memory Care can be a sensitive subject and perhaps confusing and overwhelming for family members, we have launched a blog series devoted entirely to Memory Care. Our hope is that we provide educational resources, answers to frequently asked questions and support as you navigate your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis.
As the United States continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to take the opportunity to discuss how to explain COVID-19 to your loved one with an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis. As many Americans are beginning to show signs of COVID-19 fatigue, the number of active cases continue to rise. The United States has surpassed 10 million cases with several states breaking daily case records.
So, how do you explain this to your loved one while ensuring they take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe? We recommend the below strategies.
- Explain the virus on a level that caters to where they’re at in their diagnosis. For those who are newly diagnosed, it can be helpful to discuss what COVID-19 is, how it spreads and how to protect oneself and others. For those who are further in their diagnosis, it’s important to not overwhelm or upset them. We recommend letting them know it’s important to remember to wash their hands frequently and to keep written reminders around.
- Keep up routine while adding safety precautions. When caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, schedules and routines are comforting for your loved one as they are familiar and expected. We recommend keeping your usual routine while adding in small changes like more frequent hand washing, wearing a face mask when in public and helping to remind them that it’s important to avoid large crowds at this time to keep them safe.
- Stay positive. These times can be challenging for everyone. As a caregiver, it’s important to try to stay positive for your loved one so your fears and anxieties are not cast to them. Remember to focus on the things that you can control – while none of us can control COVID-19, we can control the actions we take in keeping ourselves safe. Stay positive by writing uplifting messages with your loved one, not only will this lift spirits, it’s also a wonderful way to get creative! We recommend any activity that will keep your and their mind preoccupied – whether it’s a walk outdoors, baking in the kitchen or playing a game together.
Again, we understand that the pandemic can cause stress and anxiety, but if we handle this together and follow the recommended guidelines by the CDC, we will all be moving towards a brighter future. The CDC currently recommends the following:
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid close contact with others by keeping a distance of six feet between yourself and others.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a facemask when around others.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Monitor your health daily – watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath and other symptoms of COVID-19.
For additional information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.