The day was sunny, bright, and warm. Winter was coming to an end and Mary was excited about spring. She couldn’t wait to get back to her gardening, spending some nice, warm time outdoors, and maybe even visiting with friends. She knew something was going on in her mind and only recently decided to go to her doctor for a proper diagnosis.
She was worried that it could be some form of dementia and hope that it was a prescription medication she was taking. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she felt devastated. She went through the traditional stages of grief, but before she reached acceptance, she felt depressed.
She began to withdraw from friends and family members. She didn’t want to be a burden to anyone and didn’t want pity. Withdrawing from friends meant she withdrew from certain activities, including playing games with them.
This had a spiral effect of causing her sadness and depression to get more significant and severe. Her family didn’t seem to know what to do. That’s when they turned to an experienced senior home care aide who had worked with other seniors recently diagnosed with this form of dementia.
The senior home care aide encouraged a few pointers for those family members. She recommended that Mary be encouraged to stay active.
Why stay active?
When people are active, they spend less time thinking about the negative things going on in their life. When Mary was being encouraged to get active, play games, and spend time with her friends, she was distracted about what was going on in her mind.
By encouraging other friends and family members to call Mary regularly, this helped her feel connected. She lived alone and that was difficult enough. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the loneliness felt even stronger.
When she could look forward to talking with an adult child, a sibling, or a friend for 15 minutes or even longer every couple of days, she had something to look forward to. It also sparked some memories she hadn’t thought about in a long, long time.
They can play games.
Certain games, especially strategic thinking games, can actually be beneficial in the delaying of more serious aspects of memory loss, at least for a little while. There is research to support this claim.
Relying on experienced care.
Mary wasn’t too keen on the idea of hiring a senior home care aide, but when she did, she realized she was able to lean on somebody else, both physically and emotionally, which helped her cope with the earliest stages of this disease.