Having good communication when your loved one is dealing with memory loss is crucial, especially if you are their caregiver. But what happens when you are no longer their caregiver and are entrusting their care to someone else? When a loved one moves to a memory care community, it can be easy to think that you won’t have to worry about anything and that staff members will let you know of any issues they come across, but in order to ensure the best care for your loved one, it’s often a good idea to stay in-the-know and be a partner in their care team.
According to Ryan Carney, Executive Director at Travanse Living™ at Wheaton, an Assisted Living and Enlight Memory Care community in Wheaton, IL, effectively communicating with your loved one’s care team can help to keep both you informed and your loved one happy and well. “When your loved one moves to a memory care community, many times they will interact with a variety of people,” says Ryan. “From nurses and doctors to other healthcare professionals, it’s important to stay involved and interact effectively. This can help to not only keep you up to date on how your loved one’s health is, but it can also help to keep your loved one’s care team aware of issues as well as give them important information on your loved one’s likes and dislikes.”
Why Maintaining Communication with Memory Care Teams is Crucial
According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, there are many reasons that families should maintain and foster positive communication with their loved one’s care team. Some of the most important reasons that the Alzheimer’s Association® provides include:
Quality of life. The quality of life of a loved one with dementia depends on the relationship that your loved one has with their team. By having strong relationships, your loved one will have a better quality of life.
Better care. Optimal care occurs when there’s a healthy relationship between the staff, family and the resident. This is because care planning will include the resident, family members and the care team who interact most frequently with the resident.
More understood needs. Families can let care teams know about their loved one’s abilities and needs and ensure that their loved one is receiving personalized care and has the right care plan for them. Staff will also be able to update family members on their loved one's current abilities and needs as well.
Ways to Help Maintain Communication with Memory Care Teams
As a family member to someone with memory loss, there are plenty of things that you can do to help their care team provide the optimal level of care. Optimize the care your loved one’s memory care team provides by:
Providing staff with a life story. According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, providing a life story can help your loved one’s care team to anticipate ways they can either form a bond or solve problems. For example, if family members tell staff members that their loved one used to have a certain job or had certain hobbies, they may be able to tailor programs in order to better interest your loved one.
Offering to participate in programs. When your loved one’s care team creates certain programs for them, volunteer to help. Especially when the holidays come, a family member’s insight can provide ways to make the program more personalized and can help to brighten their day.
Getting involved with their care plan. Your loved one’s care staff may ask for input about their care plan. If they do, get involved. Ask for them to keep you informed of any changes, if they begin to experience any new symptoms or have any issues you would not know about otherwise.
Meeting with the care team regularly. Whether talking on the phone or meeting in person, it can help to talk and communicate about changes in your loved one’s health or about any concerns that either you or their care team may have.
Being respectful. This journey through memory loss is hard for everyone. Be sure to thank your loved one’s care team, listen to them and let them know you appreciate them. Ask how you can help them or what they may need to know about your loved one in order to give them the best care possible.
Fostering Communication Between Residents, Families and Memory Care Staff
At Travanse Living™ at Wheaton, we understand the importance of maintaining positive communication and remaining involved in your loved one’s everyday life. With family and guest lounges to create an area that allows for comfortable communication, family education and support groups in order to create greater understanding of memory loss, and a dedicated Enlight Memory Care manager, we do our best to provide a welcoming and comfortable environment where families, staff and residents can interact and maintain communication.
For more tips to help enhance communication with your loved one’s care team, or to learn more about being an active partner in their care, call or visit us today.
Experience Life. Uplifted! at Travanse Living™ at Wheaton
Now open and accepting residents, Travanse Living™ at Wheaton offers Assisted Living and Enlight Memory Care services to individuals in the area. Travanse Living™ communities offer the best of both worlds – the dignity, comfort and peace of private apartment suites as well as spacious and abundant social areas – both inside and outside. Our beautiful communities, rich in care, services and amenities, are complemented by our life-enriching and diverse programming.
Travanse Living is more than a warm, welcoming and supportive place to call home. It is an engaging, worry-free lifestyle for individuals needing senior living services or memory care. After all, while you may need a bit of support to remain living independently, your desire to live a full, active and meaningful lifestyle hasn’t changed one bit.
To ensure quality in every aspect of the community, we turned to Pathway to Living™ to operate and manage Travanse Living. Award-winning VIVA!SM programming by Pathway to Living™ keeps residents active and engaged within our community. We encourage our residents to remain active – physically, intellectually and spiritually – living a life filled with purpose, meaning and fulfillment.