September 29, 2023

The Kentridge Senior Living Memory Care Discusses Creating Engagement with Someone Living with Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Emily Johnson, Memory Care Director

In a world that thrives on communication, connection, and shared experiences, dementia poses unique challenges. It affects not only an individual’s memory, but also their very essence. As the number of individuals living with dementia continues to rise, it becomes increasingly important to explore ways to foster meaningful engagement.

Dementia can be an isolating and disorienting condition, creating a feeling of disconnect from the world they once knew and loved. However, beneath the surface of cognitive decline lies the enduring essence of the individual waiting to be nurtured and cherished. By embracing empathy, patience, and creativity we can create experiences that transcend memory loss and provide a lifeline to the person within.

Join us at The Kentridge Senior Living on a journey to unlock the potential for engagement and connection with your loved one living with dementia. Together, we will discover the power of human connection that transcends the boundaries of memory, and in doing so, enrich the lives of those touched by this challenging condition.

Past hobbies and interests are important; how we spend our time becomes a big part of who we are. What we enjoy doing and what interests us often becomes very intertwined into our physical and emotional wellbeing. While interests and hobbies can change, if it is something residents maintained into mid-late adulthood, it is likely something that will matter to them, even with dementia. The way the interest or hobby is completed with dementia will likely change; the value does not deplete.  

Most tasks can be modified or downgraded so individuals with dementia can engage in them. For example, if gardening was an interest, in early stages of dementia they will likely still be able to assist with watering, weeding, or picking. By late stages, just feeling the dirt, holding a flower, looking at pictures of plants, being read to about plants, or spending time outside may be ways residents can still feel involved in the process and meeting that interest. 

Engagement allows someone with dementia to retain participation in the interests and hobbies that have always been the most important to them. This helps maintain their mental health, physical health, and emotional health. As dementia progresses, many abilities are lost. By finding ways to maintain engagement and interaction with what is most important to them, we give individuals with dementia the gift of retaining some of the things that are the most meaningful to them which can help maintain a sense of purpose and dignity when their role loss is at an all-time high. 

When it comes to engaging someone living with dementia, patience, empathy, and creativity are the keys to fostering meaningful connections. By embracing a person-centered approach, we can unlock a world of possibilities, enabling individuals with dementia to continue experiencing joy, connection, and a sense of purpose. Remember, it’s not about fixing what’s broken, but rather cherishing the unique qualities that make each person special. Together we can create moments of engagement where those living with dementia are valued and cherished for who they are, not just who they were.

The KentRidge Senior Living in Kent, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near University Hospital Portage Medical Center with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Sunny Hill Golf & Recreation Inc, Stow-Kent Shopping Center, Kent State Univeristy Museum, The Portage Hike & Bike Trail, and Mad Cap Brewing Company.

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