Today is moving day for my mother and all of us can finally breathe a sigh of relief. She is moving to a lovely facility in Edmonton so though we will no longer be close neighbours, it will be wonderful for her.
This new facility is geared for patients in all stages of memory loss and they even have physicians who do their rounds every day.
So while travelling this dementia road with my family these are some of the things I've learned:
1. Try not to disagree or argue with your loved one. They are confused enough already and adding agitation to that confusion just makes things worse.
2. My mother has been recently suffering with a symptom in her dementia called Sundowning
Apparently a percentage of dementia sufferers have this where they become very restless and want to wander in the evenings.
3. Be sure that where you place your loved one is an institution that specializes in dementia.
At my mom's new memory care facility the rooms and the beautiful gardens were made in a circle as most people with dementia like to walk in a circle.
4. A caring touch goes a long way. Whenever I notice my mom is agitated I hold her had, rub her back or sing familiar songs to her and she seems to calm down.
5. Try to keep her mind stimulated. This new facility has a college next door and many of the students regularly interact with the residents which I think is wonderful.
6. Last but not least keep being present in their lives. Now that she's being looked after remember that her family is her best advocates and her best medicine!