Cloud shaped like heart - Dementia Love Support February 5, 2019 3:42 pm

The word love means many things to many people. The definition of love is summed up by three components: passion, closeness, and commitment. Research indicates that a positive Dementia Love Support system brings benefits, including improved well-being, enhanced coping skills, and a longer, healthier life. Furthermore, Dementia Love Support releases a feel-good chemical, Oxytocin, in our body. In other words, fostering positive connections not only contributes to mental and emotional health but also has tangible physiological effects. Your loved one may find it difficult to recognize familiar faces; however, they still hold an “emotional memory” that can be triggered by the ones they love. Fostering more interactions with familiar friends and family stimulates feelings of familiarity, happiness, comfort, and a sense of security. Love and support may lessen isolation and alleviate symptoms of dementia, depression, and anxiety, as some studies propose.

Remember that love means many things to many people; however, feeling a sense of love may enhance the quality of life for your loved one. Here are a few ideas:

Try to:

  1. Use objects that help remind the person of your love (photos, an object, etc.)
  2. Try to use stories that bring the person to a happy place and remind them of the ones they love.
  3. Send mail from time to time. A brief letter expressing love or a cherished photo can serve as comforting reminders of your affection.
  4. Take advantage of holidays that allow you to express love.

Remember that the power of love can make a difference in the lives of those living with memory loss. Consequently, your challenge of the month is to send your loved one a Valentine’s day card. By taking this simple yet thoughtful action, you can contribute to their well-being and create moments of joy and connection.

By Joshua Freitas, M.Ed., BC-DEd, CAEd (Vice President of Program Development) and Rachel Christian, DP-NC (Executive Director | CERTUS at Orange City)

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