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memory support September 9, 2016

It’s Grandparents Day—help kids connect to seniors with memory loss

By: Country Meadows | Uncategorized

National Grandparents Day was signed into law in 1978, and since then, the first Sunday of September after Labor Day has been designated as a day to honor grandparents and their contributions. In observance of Grandparents Day, Country Meadows Retirement Communities encourages families to express their gratitude to grandparents and, where possible, use it as a day of visitation and connection.

Visiting grandparents in need of memory support

Grandparents who live in retirement homes look forward to visits from grandchildren just as much as they did before moving there. Being around kids, particularly their grandchildren, can create joy and a more positive outlook in seniors.

If a grandparent has dementia, however, it may complicate a grandchild’s visit, whether in the grandparent’s own home or at a retirement home community. Dealing with a senior’s dementia is difficult for everyone, but can be especially so for children. Though parents may be busy dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of a loved one’s dementia, preparing their children, who might be frightened or upset by a grandparent’s behavior, should be a priority as well.

Resources to help children and families

We have a new children’s activity book, “The Unforgettable Adventures of Grandma’s Cape,” to help children better understand a grandparent’s Alzheimer’s disease. You may obtain this free book at the main desk of any of our 11 Country Meadows campuses. The book’s cover design was selected from 23 entries from students at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster. We were so pleased with the entries, depicting “a loving relationship between a grandparent and grandchild,” that an exhibit featuring all of the entries is currently rotating among several Country Meadows campuses.

We also have a tip sheet, “Talking to Your Children about Dementia,” to help kids deal with new feelings and situations, as well as tips on “Successful Visits with a Loved One with Dementia” and “Creating Meaningful Moments with a Loved One with Dementia” for adults as well as children.

Finally, we recommend several books to help children understand dementia. For a free bookmark listing visiting tips for children, just complete and submit the form at the bottom of the web page on kids’ books.

For our residents needing memory care support in our senior living communities, Country Meadows’ Connections Memory Support Services provides assistance to them and their families. Our program is offered to residents in our personal care and assisted living homes. Our Connections Memory Support Services emphasizes building bonds and caring for the whole person in a senior community through personalized support plans, customized exercise programs and intellectual stimulation.

We know that caring for a loved one with dementia is challenging, so we have partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to aid families. You might want to consider joining one of our monthly Memory Support Groups.

If you are in the process of choosing a retirement community or are interested in our Connections Memory Support Services, please contact an expert on our team at our Pennsylvania or Maryland retirement homes at any of our Country Meadows locations, including Lancaster, PA; York, PA, Hershey, PA and many others.

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