We all do it. Hit the snooze button at least once instead of rising with our alarm. It’s a mechanism many of us use to grab just a few more moments of sleep. While we may drift off for a few seconds, more often we lie in a semi-conscious fog, simply not wanting to get up. Soon, ten, twenty, even sixty minutes are snooze buttoned away. Enough! Don’t hit the snooze button-let’s get up, address our sleep issues and enjoy more memorable moments.
Did you watch the Super Bowl? I am always impressed with the athleticism of some of the players. Their agility, strength, and speed inspire. But it doesn’t just happen. Years of practice, repetition and habits lead to the athleticism culminating in Super Bowl moments.
Becoming more physically fit is a priority goal for me this year and maybe for you too. The best method for us is also to create a habit. If you know me, you know I love discussing habits! Various lifestyle habits will be on tap here for the next few weeks and exercise is a great place to begin.
Are you a planner? You spend hours thinking, planning, organizing and can’t wait to begin. Plans in place, you sprint forward, then BAM-life interruptions hit like a ton of bricks. Or maybe things go well for a while but little by little, things change, and the original plan slips away. Either way, it feels like failure.
Maybe you’re not a planner like me and simply go with the flow. “Life is meant to be lived, not planned” you think and jump into goals without a plan. Then one day you wonder why you never did x, y, or z. You’ve always dreamed of doing that one thing but got sidetracked and now wish you would’ve remembered it.
Whether you’re a natural planner or not, a good plan is worth having. [Read more…]
Whether we call them resolutions, goals, or 2019 to do list-it’s about wanting to do new things in a new year. But change can be difficult. This saying summed it up for me this week- “if nothing changes, nothing changes.” So, if we want to accomplish something new in 2019, something must change, difficult or not.
The holidays bring their own certain kind of stress. For a person experiencing memory issues and those who love them, it can ramp up to unforeseen levels. This stress only increases memory problems and the correlating domino effect that creates. Caregivers feel it too, even more so than their loved ones at times.
Loving and caring for someone with memory problems can be draining, especially at the holidays, but there are ways to help. Here are a few tips to help those with memory loss at holidays or anytime:
- Manage Expectations. Don’t expect loved ones to remember every family story, holiday tradition or great grandchild’s name. It’s not that they don’t want to, or can’t remember some part of it, it’s that in that moment they literally can’t or it may take some additional time. Which leads us to…
- Be Patient! Older adults and especially those with memory issues need additional time to process, function, and remember. They may be able to recall that same memory, but they won’t if stressed or pressed to do so. Be patient with them and yourself in all things.
- Pick and Choose. Some traditions are great and always appreciated at holiday time. Others may create more stress than is needed or wanted this time of year and season of life. It’s okay to pick and choose the people, events, and timing to best suit your loved one’s needs and abilities.
- Redirection Helps More than Correction. If a loved one can’t remember, it’s helpful to redirect to another subject if the recall is causing stress. Correcting them or being impatient only creates more stress and anxiety for everyone. Eventually they may remember, but maybe instead we ask ourselves which is more important the memory or the person.
- Be Present. This is helpful for everyone. Those with memory issues often have good moments as well as bad. Being present in the good will allow all to enjoy that precious time (and create more positive memories for the caregiver and family in the future). Being present in the bad moments will allow all to feel valued and assist in being aware of any limitations or progression of symptoms.
Life with memory loss affects not only the person experiencing it, but all those who love and care for them. It’s not an easy road but still can be one full of memorable moments to be cherished. As a caregiver myself, I can testify to this truth. To that end, after a season of care giving and loss, I’ll be taking a brief break from the blog to fully be present with my loved ones this holiday season. I’ll be back in a few weeks with more memory wellness insights, tips and strategies.
Until then, I wish you all a blessed and very memorable holiday season full of love, hope, joy, and peace.