How to Talk About Memory Concerns with a Family Member

Memory concerns can be among the most delicate topics to raise with a family member. However, acknowledging and addressing these concerns is essential for ensuring your family member’s well-being.

Because we understand the importance of this conversation and how difficult it can be to bring up, our team at Élan Westpointe, offering exceptional memory care in New Braunfels, Texas, is sharing tips on how to talk about memory concerns with a parent or relative.

Woman Talking with a Senior

Noticing Changes in Cognitive Function

The occasional lapse in memory is not something to be concerned about since this could be part of the natural aging process. However, distinguishing between ordinary lapses and potential signs of cognitive decline can be a challenging task since not all memory impairment actions are equivalent to dementia. It’s important not to jump to conclusions but consider these as invitations to observe more closely and seek professional advice if necessary. Some signs warning that it might be time to talk with a doctor include: 

  • Your family member is repeating questions over and over again
  • They get lost in places they used to be familiar with
  • Your family member has trouble following directions
  • They’re becoming more confused about time, people, and places
  • They’ve abandoned healthy habits like bathing, eating well, and maintaining their living space

Preparing for the Talk

Engaging in a conversation about memory concerns can evoke a multitude of emotions for both you and your family member, so it is crucial to approach the situation with tact and empathy. Start by preparing yourself emotionally. Acknowledge your concerns, allow yourself to feel your emotions, and then determine the goal of the conversation.

Empathy and understanding should be at the forefront of your preparation. Imagine the situation from your family member’s perspective, and anticipate their feelings and reactions. This isn’t just a discussion about their memory; it’s a conversation about their sense of identity and their independence.

Having the Conversation

Step 1: Set the Stage

The success of the conversation may very well hinge on the time and place you choose. Find a quiet, familiar space that is free from distractions. This can help to reduce anxiety and set the stage for a more focused discussion.

Step 2: Start with Empathy

Begin the conversation by expressing your unconditional love and support. Reassure your relative that this discussion is coming from a place of care and that you are there to help, not to judge.

Step 3: Share Observations

Be specific in the observations you share. Focus on behaviors or incidents that are out of the ordinary and might signify memory challenges. By being non-judgmental, you can create a safe space for open dialogue.

Step 4: Explore Options Together

Discussing potential options, including memory care in New Braunfels, can be a sensitive topic. However, it’s important not to shy away from it. Presenting the idea as one of many available choices—each with its benefits—can be reassuring.

Step 5: Make a Plan

End the conversation by agreeing on the next steps. Whether it’s scheduling a visit to a memory care community, making an appointment with a healthcare professional for assessment, or simply continuing an open dialogue, ensure there is a clear plan for moving forward.

The Benefits of Memory Care in New Braunfels

Older Woman and Daughter Talking and Laughing

For many individuals with memory impairments, memory care communities can provide a sense of safety, structure, and specialized care that might not be possible at home. These communities offer tailored programs designed to support memory health, foster meaningful engagement, and enhance overall well-being.

Our memory care community in New Braunfels, Texas, provides a unique approach where every moment is an opportunity to enhance the lives of residents through comprehensive, compassionate, and researched-backed care. With higher caregiver-to-resident ratios than other communities, we affirm our commitment to delivering unparalleled person-centered care within a secure and comfortable space. Our signature Valeo™ memory care programs are specifically tailored to those living with any form of memory impairment and integrate every facet of a resident’s life in its approach to wellness.

Learning how to talk about memory concerns with a family member is a testament to the evolving roles we play in each other’s lives. While these conversations may evoke feelings of unease, they also bring the promise of fostering a deeper level of understanding, care, and support. We invite you to contact our experts at Élan Westpointe to discover all the benefits awaiting your family member in our memory care community in New Braunfels, Texas. Take the first step and embark on this new journey by scheduling a tour today.

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