Socialization and relationships are important for our mental health, and it’s a core part of memory care at senior living communities. Mom or dad wants to be with peers as well as with family. Home care agencies are available to come in and provide assistance to seniors with activities of daily living. Tracy Helling at CarePartners Living joins Suzanne to talk about these factors for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Tracy says, “The beautiful thing about moving your loved one, either from a home environment or from, say, an independent living or assisted living to a specialized memory care is the folks. Everybody has dementia. No one’s going to say, ‘You’ve said that three times.’ No one’s going to say, ‘You know where the bathroom is, you’ve been there six times today.’ No one is going to say that.

“One of the things we see when people come from other environments is people have been noticing that there’s something not tracking, they have noticed. So they shut down socially, they stop doing activities, they stop pursuing relationships. When they come into a specialized memory care, everybody’s in the same boat. There is, interestingly, a bump up in both the appetite and socialization, using their brain. They’re in their tribe Nobody’s going to make them feel ‘other’ in this environment. Some of these things are very stressful for families. For us, it’s a Tuesday. So we all understand how this works. We don’t get tired of reminding, or queuing, or any of that. So I think that specialized memory care is a beautiful place where we see people begin to actually function at their optimum level. They’re with other people in an environment, and with a routine, that is absolutely pleasant for them.”

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