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How Can You Help Your Senior Connect with You and Others in the Later Stages of Dementia?

Caregiver in Cotati CA: Connecting with Someone with Dementia

Caregiver in Cotati CA: Connecting with Someone with Dementia

The later stages of dementia can feel especially cruel to you as a caregiver because this elderly family member isn’t the one that you remember. Finding different ways to connect with your aging adult can make a big difference, even if you’re noticing more differences than similarities lately. Don’t give up on connecting because it’s still possible.

Use Music, Books, or Movies.

Using different types of activities can help to spark a connection with your aging family member. Revisit her favorites regularly. Sometimes even having her favorite music or movies on in the background can be soothing for your aging family member. If she has favorite books, try reading them to her or get the audio versions of the books to play for her.

Go Through Photos Together.

Dementia can rob your elderly family member of more recent memories, but often even in later stages older memories are much more accessible. Try going through old photo albums together and talk about the different people in the albums. You might be surprised at some of the stories that your aging adult remembers that you never expected to hear again.

Food and Smells Can Be Effective.

Some of the memories that can stick with your elderly family member can include favorite smells and tastes. Use those if your elderly family member is still expressing interest in them. These can be a powerful way for you to refresh those bonds that you have with your senior and help her to feel comfortable at the same time.

Touch Her and Talk to Her.

Many times caregivers overlook how the simple comfort of touch and their own voice can be enough to connect with their elderly family member. You really don’t need much to be able to remind your aging adult that you’re there for her and that you’re looking out for her. Even sitting quietly and holding her hand can be enough to offer comfort and express how you feel.

Connecting doesn’t have to be complicated or even verbal. Use the tools that you have available already, including your knowledge of who your elderly family member is, to help you maintain those connections.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Cotati, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.