Memory Help for Seniors with Memory Loss

Memory Loss, Forgetfulness, and Aging: What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Forgetfulness and memory loss may be a normal part of aging. As we age, all parts of the body change, including the brain. As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things or their memory is not as good as before.

Today, we’re looking at some memory-related topics to give you a better understanding of what to expect with memory and aging.

How does memory change with age?

As you age, physiological changes occur that may cause problems in your normal brain functions. These are functions that most of us simply take for granted without a second thought. When functional issues arise, it might take you longer to learn and recall information; or you may not be as fast as you once were.

As such, you might mistake these slowing mental processes as being actual memory loss. Fortunately, many of these functions return if you give yourself time. Therefore, certain brain changes are inevitable during aging. However, memory problems are not one of them.

This is why it is important to understand the difference between normal age-related forgetfulness and symptoms that may indicate cognitive problems.

How can I help my elderly with memory loss?

The best way to approach someone who suffers from memory loss is to do so as you would a child. What does this mean? Essentially, it means using simple language while maintaining an encouraging tone. As such, you want to exhibit positive expressions, make eye contact, and use open gestures.

And above all else, it means employing a lot of patience. Let’s look at some keep tips you can exercise to help older adults with memory loss.

Mind Your Tone

Even if it’s difficult to see that your loved one’s cognitive abilities are declining, you should try to be optimistic when talking to them. People with dementia may not understand everything you say or ask, but they will definitely notice your emotions and expressions.

For example, if you look anxious, worried, or upset, they too will become anxious or upset. Therefore, speak positively with an uplifting tone. Be sure to smile and let yourself be optimistic about them. Try using gentle language and loving gestures.

Use Short Sentences and Words

You don’t need to yell or speak in an overly simple way. But you should speak slowly, clearly, and evenly while using simple words. Try using one- and two-syllable words to express what you’re trying to say.

Lowering the natural pitch of your voice can also help to get the attention of your loved one. Just remember that if your loved one needs you to repeat what you said many times, don’t let it frustrate you.

Even after implementing these tips into your vernacular they still don’t understand you, go to the next step. You can always try these techniques again at a later time.

Choose a Quiet Setting

You should try to limit background noise as much as possible. If your children are running around and making noise, ask them to play in another room and play as quietly as they can. Turn off the TV or anything else that could serve as a distraction.

Moreover, if your relative lives in a memory care home or nursing home, close the door during your visit to reduce noise from within the facility. Then, use simple techniques to get the attention of your loved one and try to maintain your communication.

Also, be sure to call your senior by their name. If he or she doesn’t remember your name, don’t be angry; simply identify who you are and move on. Remember to make eye contact, too, as it is very important in communicating with someone suffering from memory loss.

Light, gentle touches on their shoulders, arms, and hands also help to establish a line of communication.

Use Names as Much as Possible

And speaking of using their name during your social interaction, the same goes for family and friends when discussing them. Whenever possible, use direct names (pronouns) rather than nouns like “he” or “she”, “him” or “her.”

Memory senior care is a challenging venture. But using proper names is a big step in overcoming cognitive decline. That’s because the use of these names helps to trigger memories in loved ones whose brain function isn’t what it used to be.

What’s more, names are more familiar compared to simple nouns. You may find that speaking clearly with proper names triggers a stimulating response. Give it a try, and be sure to maintain this method in your conversations moving forward.

4 Ways to Improve Memory for Seniors

Rejuvenating brain function is a challenging proposition. But there are some helpful tips to keep your brain sharp and your thinking healthy. Consider each method a mental exercise that you can employ to improve your mental health.

The good news is that you can implement these tips in an attempt to help seniors suffering from memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease.

Stay Organized

Try to limit distractions and don’t attempt to take on too much at once. If you focus on the information you are trying to keep, you are more likely to recall it at a later time when you need it.

Keep Brain Functions Active

Just as physical activity helps keep the body healthy, mental stimulation activities help keep the brain healthy and may prevent memory loss. Do crossword puzzles, play bridge, or take up playing a musical instrument, for example.

Stay Physically Active

Just as important is physical activity, which increases blood flow to the whole body, including the brain. This may help maintain your memory and keep your mental health sharp.


Social interaction helps fight depression and stress, both of which can lead to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with relatives and friends. This is especially important if your elder lives alone.

If you have questions regarding what services Mary T offers for patients with memory loss, contact us today. We’ll do our best to provide more information and figure out the best plan for you or your loved one.

Levels of Senior Care

As you start to look into senior care for yourself or a loved one, it’s easy to get confused. It’s not as simple as looking for an assisted living facility. There are many different levels of care and a variety of facilities that provide different services.

In broad strokes, you can break down senior living options into four different types. Independent living communities are usually townhouses or single-family homes that provide a community for seniors. There they can enjoy social activities and companionship. Residents of assisted living communities live in apartments with staff available to help with activities of daily living but not medical services. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities provide 24-hour assistance. They offer both daily living activities and medical care. Continuing Care retirement communities are in a class by themselves and provide a wide range of senior care services.

Independent Living

Independent living is also sometimes known as senior living and can be considered “aging in place.” These communities often have a strict age limit. This way residents are at similar stages in their life. People who live in senior living communities usually purchase traditional housing such as a townhouse or single-family home. In addition, these communities often have a social director that coordinates day trips, schedules social events and fitness classes. They may even have onsite church services. Seniors that move into an independent living community have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit. This is one of the lower levels of senior care.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living consists of residential facilities for those in need of higher levels of senior care. Namely when it comes to activities of daily living (also called ADLs). ADLs include such fundamental tasks as bathing, dressing, cooking meals, and moving around a residence. Services provided in an assisted living community include meal preparation, housekeeping and laundry services. They also help with personal care. Some assisted living facilities provide memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. For the most part, older adults who live in assisted living facilities need minimal care and do not have many medical needs.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care. Skilled nursing facilities provide one of the highest levels of senior care. Whether short-term, such as rehabilitation after surgery, or for long-term care of more serious medical issues. Nursing homes do all the same things as assisted living but include medical needs. For example, taking vital signs, administering medication, and coordinating with doctors. Patients reside in a single room, either private or shared with another resident. Seniors with severe dementia or Alzheimer’s disease typically reside in skilled nursing facilities for in-depth memory care. Nursing homes also provide hospice services for end-of-life care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Also known as CCRC, this type of senior housing is typically for wealthy seniors who want to find a community where they can live out the rest of their lives. The key is in the words “continuing care.” These facilities offer a variety of levels of senior care so residents can take advantage of care services as their needs change. A couple may start out living independently and add on assisted living services such as personal care if their physical status deteriorates. It allows seniors to remain in the same residence, knowing that care will be provided to them if needed.

Levels within Levels of Senior Care

The four types of facilities explained above are often further broken down into more subtle levels of senior care depending on the needs of the adult in question. For example, assisted living communities are typically broken down into several levels of care:

Level 1 Care

We consider this low-level care and it applies to residents who need little help with their ADLs (activities of daily living) and live mostly independent lives. They are capable of bathing themselves, make their own meals, and move around well on their own. They do not suffer from incontinence and can use the bathroom safely on their own. While they may need help managing their medications or testing their blood sugar levels, for the most part, they do not require 24/7 nursing care.

Level 2 Care

For seniors who need more assistance with physical and health-related issues. They might be able to handle certain ADLs but need help with others. For example, your loved one may be able to feed themselves but need assistance bathing or dressing. They might be starting to show signs of memory loss, requiring caregivers to watch them on a more consistent basis. A Level 2 assisted living facility will not accept patients who are bedridden or completely incontinent. They must have separate wards for patients who receive a nursing home level of care versus those that do not. Another key difference is that Level 2 nursing care is covered by Medicaid, while Level 1 care is not.

Level 3 Care

Also known as memory care. Level 3 care has programs aimed primarily at those seniors living with advanced Alzheimer’s and dementia. If your loved one is recommended for Level 3 care, chances are they need a high level of assistance with ADLs and need around-the-clock health care. Similar to Level 2 care, Level 3 care will involve registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, and regular caregivers. A caseworker is usually assigned to assist the family and the facility in the management of the patient’s care.

Senior Living and Levels of Senior Care at Mary T

Mary T is proud to provide a wide array of community options where you or a loved one will feel right at home. If you’re interested in an independent living community, Margaret Place and the Villas of Casa Grande offer residential housing to those age 55 and older. Both have 24-hour on-site manager, twice daily “I’m OK” checks, and group activities and outings.

If you are looking for an assisted living community with a higher level of care, Eagle Street and Creekside Cottage have a fantastic staff that provides its residents with personal care services. Residents enjoy homemade meals, in-home physician visits, medication management, and registered nurses on-site and on-call 24/7.

If your level of care requires a full-time skilled nursing facility, the Camilia Rose Care Center has programs to manage and care for any complex medical issue. Our loving staff is there to provide whatever is needed to help you or your loved one live the best life possible. Contact us today to learn more.

What Services Does Your Hospice Team Provide?

Hospice care is for people who are near the end of their lives. These services are provided by a team of health care professionals who provide maximum comfort for terminally ill people by reducing pain and satisfying physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs.

What exactly does Hospice do?

To help the family, hospice provides counseling, respite care, and practical support. Unlike typical health care, the focus of hospice care is not to cure the underlying disease. The goal is to support the highest quality of life possible in the remaining time your loved one has.

What services are included in hospice care?

Hospice staff is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ready to meet the patient wherever they call home.

A hospice care team typically includes:


Primary care doctors and hospice doctors or medical directors will supervise care. Each patient can choose an attending doctor as their primary caregiver. This can be your previous doctor or hospice doctor.


The nurse will visit you or your loved one to provide care. They are also responsible for coordinating the hospice team.

Family Health Assistant

A home health aid that provides additional support for daily care, such as dressing, bathing, and eating.

Spiritual Counselor

Pastors, priests, or other spiritual counselors can provide spiritual care and guidance for the entire family.

Social Worker

Social workers provide advice and support. They can also provide recommendations for other support systems.


A pharmacist provides medication supervision and advice on the most effective way to relieve symptoms.


Well-trained volunteers provide a variety of services. They range from providing companionship or respite opportunities for caregivers, to helping with transportation or other practical needs.

Other Professionals

If needed, speech, physical, and occupational therapists can provide treatment.

Bereavement Counselor

Trained bereavement counselors provide care and guidance after a loved one dies in hospice care.

Treatment and Support

Once patients receive hospice care, they will receive routine care designed to maximize comfort and quality of life. Routine care may include pain management, symptom management, and spiritual counseling for patients and family members. Even daily work assistance, nutrition services, and treatment services.

You can provide regular hospice care wherever you call home; whether it is in a professional nursing facility, assisted living facility, memory care facility, or your own house. Care will be performed intermittently according to the needs of the patient.

Sometimes called crisis care, when loved ones experience a medical crisis or their symptoms require more in-depth management, they may require continuous hospice care.

During this kind of medical crisis, round-the-clock care or extended care time is good for patients and their families, giving caregivers the opportunity to withdraw from hands-on care and focus on taking on family roles with their loved ones.

If the patient’s symptoms cannot be managed at home, they may need to be hospitalized. The goal here is to control severe pain and stabilize symptoms so that the patient can go home if possible. Some people may choose to spend their last days in an inpatient center as a neutral and safe space with their families and loved ones.

Inpatient hospice care centers also provide temporary care for home hospice. These occasional short-term hospitalizations can provide much-needed rest time for relatives who provide care at home while allowing people to receive proper, round-the-clock symptom management.

Customized Levels of Care

Your doctor or hospice team will provide you with guidance throughout your hospice journey and determine the appropriate level of hospice care for you or your loved ones.

In the four levels of hospice care, the concept remains the same: provide professional medical care and emotional support, and respect the unique wishes of patients. Knowing when and where to provide hospice care is the first step in understanding your or your loved one’s choices in the dying journey.

Is Hospice Right for You or a Loved One?

Inpatient hospice care centers also provide temporary care for home hospice patients. These occasional short-term hospitalizations can provide much-needed rest time for relatives who provide care at home while allowing patients to receive proper, round-the-clock symptom management.

Any time you or your loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, you should consider hospice care. Discuss with your doctor that all available care options are appropriate, including hospice care.

Common diseases suitable for hospice care include the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, AIDS, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. When the doctor determines that the life expectancy is six months or less due to the natural course of the disease, patients diagnosed with these diseases are eligible for hospice care.

At this time, comfort care and symptom management becomes the main focus. This is because continued treatment is no longer beneficial. A good question to ask yourself is, would I be surprised if the person I love is not here in a year?

Hospice Care Gives You A Team

Unlike any other care, hospice care provides a higher level of support. A multidisciplinary team composed of doctors, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, medical social workers, spiritual counselors, grief counselors, and volunteers work together to solve the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient and family.

Regardless of the patient’s age or ability to pay, the hospice care team provides patients with home care, including personal residence, relative’s home, assisted living or professional care, or in one of the nursing home-style residential care facilities.

Hospice care focuses on each patient and family by providing expert care in pain relief and symptom management, emotional and spiritual counseling (if needed), and grief support.

If you’re still unsure as to whether hospice care is the right choice for your loved one, you should speak with a trained counselor. They can assist you in making the right decision, not just for your loved one, but for your family, as well. Contact us at Mary T for more information.

5 Things Older Adults Can Do to Improve Their Self-Esteem as They Age

Self-esteem is a challenging topic for many people regardless of age. Studies show that on average, our self-image rises throughout adulthood until it peaks around the age of 60. If you think about it, that makes sense. We spend our lives working to attain certain milestones, and as we reach middle age, most of those milestones have been achieved. You might enjoy stable work with regular income, a solid family life, and close relationships with your spouse, partner, and others.

As we grow older, these things can start to slip away. Children leave the nest, you may enter retirement or feel as if the workforce has outpaced you. Health challenges start to develop, affecting you or a loved one. These are all major life experiences, and any type of major change is accompanied by a certain amount of anxiety. It’s no wonder that aging is often served with a side of lower self-esteem. But there are ways to improve one’s positive outlook on life even in old age. So, what are 5 things older adults can do to improve their self-image as they age?

1. Make Strong Social Bonds

Meaningful personal connections ground us and boost our confidence. Research shows that seniors who enjoy the support of close family and friends have higher self-esteem than those who go it alone. However, it’s a bit of a catch 22, because seniors who suffer from poor self-esteem may find it hard to develop close friendships as they age. If this sounds like you, start small!

Think of something you enjoy doing and find a group that participates in those activities. Join a book club, a knitting circle, or take a cooking class. There are many community groups on social media that focus on certain interests. Subscribe to one or two of them and practice connecting with new people. You can also consider volunteering for an organization that interests you. Walk dogs at an animal shelter, be an usher at a local community theater, or volunteer to help out in local events such as the annual fishing tournament.

Anything that gets you out there connecting with other people is bound to make you feel good, keep you active, and boost your self-esteem. And who knows? You might find you enjoy making new friends!

2. Practice Good Personal Hygiene

It doesn’t matter how old you are, no one feels good about themselves if they sit around in their bathrobe all day long. Positive self-worth starts when you believe that you’re worth taking care of. It’s easy to get let personal hygiene slide, especially if you’re retired and spending more time alone. Give your self-confidence a boost and take the time to get out of bed, bathe, and get dressed as if you were expecting company.

If you need assistance with these tasks, look into home care to help on a daily basis. You’ll soon find that simply dressing as if you’re going out in the world will make you feel more confident and may even lead to other activities outside the home. If you think you look good, chances are you’ll feel good, too!

3. Avoid Negative Stereotypes That Can Impact Self-Esteem

The media is filled with negative stereotypes surrounding old age. Daytime television is filled with advertisements about new medical drugs, life alert bracelets, and other health afflictions. The internet is a black hole of age-related diseases and physical challenges. Even the news can drive up your anxiety. It’s enough to put anyone into a state of depression.

Instead of surrounding yourself with the negative, make it a point to seek out the positive. Reading about all the things that can happen to you puts you on the alert and can manifest anxiety and feed low self-esteem. Stop comparing yourself to a page on the internet or even other elderly adults. Realize that aging isn’t a bad thing, it’s just where you are at the moment.

Pay attention to how your own body feels and focus on things you can do that bring you happiness. As you leave those negative stereotypes behind, you’ll find yourself making real progress in your self-esteem development.

4. Eat Healthy and Stay Active

When you make an effort to do the things that are good for you, you almost always feel better because of it. Taking care of yourself by eating good foods and exercising gives you a feeling of control and independence. People who maintain good self-esteem make their health a priority.

Regular physical exercise will help keep you strong, boosting your confidence. Take a balance class, practice tai chi, or take daily walks. Exercise doesn’t only work on your physical health, but also on your mental health. Movement releases endorphins that are essential to feeling good.

The fuel you put into your body can also make a difference in your confidence and self-esteem. Do a search for articles or read our blog with advice about healthy eating for senior citizens. Aging bodies benefit from different foods than young ones. Don’t let aging become an excuse for not doing what you can to take care of yourself. The better off you feel, the more confidence you’ll have to go out and enjoy your community.

5. Practice Independence Whenever Possible

One of the hardest hits seniors take to their self-esteem is no longer being able to do things for themselves, or take part in activities they once enjoyed. It can be very hard for the elderly to come to terms with needing help with cooking, cleaning, and yard work. But needing help with certain day-to-day tasks doesn’t have to be tied to your self-worth. If anything, getting help with these tasks could free you up to explore other interests you may not have had time for.

If you’re a caregiver, know that it’s important for loved ones to help their senior find a way to accept help while not losing their sense of self. They need to feel respected and appreciated by those around them. If daily help is required, professional caregivers may be easier for your loved one to accept as they don’t want to feel as if they are a burden to those they love.

People of all ages struggle with lower self-esteem, but getting older is not for the faint of heart. There are good days and bad days scattered throughout adulthood, but when we enter old age stereotypes tell us that it’s time to slow down. But aging doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a steady state of decline. It is entirely possible to live a healthy, independent life as we age. Make the most of your retirement! Take care of yourself, find new hobbies and activities, and get out into the world. The more time you spend on self-care and doing things that boost your confidence, the better you’ll feel about yourself.