Joyful occasions including special celebrations and the holiday season may be stressful for several reasons. This is especially the case for individuals caring for a loved one with dementia.
As part of our "Leading the Way for YOU" educational video speaker series, Certified Validation Teacher and Memory Care Community Outreach Specialist for Country Meadows and Ecumenical Retirement Community, Maureen Sirianni, provides tips and advice to embrace and celebrate the season or special occasion with your loved one with dementia.
She provides guidance in:
- Recalling how past traditions looked, smelled, sounded, tasted and felt and how these can spark recollections and help families create new memories
- Focusing on what your loved one is still able to do, experience and enjoy
- Listening to our loved ones and respond in their reality as the heart processes feelings while the head processes facts
- Remembering everything doesn't have to be perfect
She says that memories matter and we need to look to the past to create an amazing present reality. She also gives permission to grieve the losses of the past and leans on her experience as a Certified Validation Teacher by providing communications techniques for families to have successful conversations with a person who has dementia. "When you come from a place of love, you can’t go wrong. Enjoy special times even in the smallest of ways," Maureen says, adding, "Embrace the memories of the past as you create the memories of today."
Note: these resources are available for our not-for-profit sister community, Ecumenical Retirement Community as well.
Just fill out the form below to access and watch the video.
Also be sure to check out other helpful advice from our experts in our Tips Library.
Maureen Sirianni is a motivated, compassionate care provider and educator. As the Memory Care Outreach Specialist for Country Meadows Retirement Communities and a resource to sister community, Ecumenical Retirement Community, she has worked tirelessly for over 24 years working hands-on, providing guidance and support to families and their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease. She has provided not only personal care, but also social, emotional, cognitive and purposeful enrichment. Maureen is a Certified Validation Method Teacher. Her goals are to mentor, teach and lead by example those who care for seniors living with memory impairment. Maureen believes that Validation Method can reopen a world of possibilities where relationships can be dignified, maintained, deepened and ongoing even in this most fragile phase of life. With patience, compassion and a willingness to listen without judgment, Maureen is able to not only build trust and rapport enabling her to be that safety net for those she cares for, but she also is able to teach others how to see beyond the illness and truly see the emotions of those living with Alzheimer’s disease.