Memory Care America - December 2019

Memory Care Moments


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COPING WITH MEMORY LOSS DURING THE HOLIDAYS We’re Here to Help You I t’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but when you have a family member living with dementia, December can feel like anything but wonderful. At Memory Care America, we have experienced many of these emotions alongside families.

Our Communities Memory Care of Naples 2626 Goodlette Frank Road Naples, FL 34103 239.403.0826 Memory Care of Little Rock 2501 Aldersgate Road Little Rock, AR 72205 501.260.7407 Memory Care of Westover Hills 10910 Town Center Drive San Antonio, TX 78251 210.802.6653 Memory Care of Simpsonville 645 Scuffletown Rd. Simpsonville, SC 29681 864.962.3038 Memory Care of New Braunfels 2022 State HWY 46 W New Braunfels, TX 78132 830.420.5882

Some families feel guilty about enjoying the holiday because their loved one isn’t home. Others struggle to cope with the loss of Mom’s Christmas Eve chili or Dad’s outrageous lawn decor. Young children may not understand why their grandparent doesn’t remember them or be confused by a change in usual plans. Faraway family members may be shocked to

A nd regardless of what happens , your celebrations will be just as special as holidays past .

or huge because this can be overwhelming for your loved one. Sometimes this means you may have to do away with the traditions you cherish. Any break in the routine

return home and see their loved one has changed dramatically. We do our best to keep your family informed, but it may not diminish the shock. As you know, it’s very hard to imagine your loved one as anyone else but themselves. Our goal is to do everything we can to make this season special for you and your family. It may not be easy, but we will meet your loved one where they are at. And regardless of what happens, your celebrations will be just as special as holidays past. Our communities do their best to make the holidays beautiful for our families. We keep the decor festive, and we host events that keep families and their loved ones together. We offer our common rooms for family gatherings, and staff members mingle at the party to give your loved one some sense of normalcy and safety. We work with families every holiday season to form new traditions that create lasting memories for everyone.

or surroundings for a person with dementia can be traumatizing. As a result, this can be a stressful season for primary caregivers as they manage incoming family, care, and plans. So, I wanted to share these three tips for caregivers to help you cope with the holiday season. Be Realistic There’s no such thing as a perfect holiday. (Read that again!) No matter how well you plan or how hard you try, there are bound to be mishaps. Every day with dementia is different, and you cannot predict how your loved one will react. Maybe they will have a great day and feel completely safe. Maybe they will need to lay down after just 30 minutes. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what you accomplish or how you spend time with your loved one. All that matters is that you spend time together.

But we also recognize that this is a lot for families to manage. Your celebrations can’t be too involved

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A 48-Year Marriage Continues to Shine at Memory Care of Little Rock Sharing Your Stories

ot even dementia can spoil the love Boss and Billie Hendricks have for one another. “I can’t understand anything she says. It doesn’t make sense, but we still have a good time together,” Boss says. “I’ll start laughing, and she’ll start laughing.”

“You take on so much, and it just wears on you. You’re a prisoner in your own home,” Boss says. In May 2016, Billie moved into Memory Care of Little Rock. Not

Boss was 36 and Billie was 29 when they met as neighbors, and on Nov. 5, 1971, they started their lives together as husband and wife. The couple had two boys and a girl, and Billie took over her parents’ accounting business, pushing it into continued success. After 33 years with the U.S. Postal Service, Boss was ready to retire, but he gave Billie the option to retire first. Her reaction encapsulated what makes Billie so special, Boss says.

Billie - Nov. 5, 1971

a day goes by that Boss isn’t

at the community, feeding his wife breakfast or enjoying her company. Seeing the level of care his wife of 48 years receives is vindication enough for Boss that he made the right decision. “She’s a very cheerful person. She’s as happy as she can be at Memory Care … I love my wife dearly. She is my best friend, and I just miss her so badly,” Boss says through tears. “That’s why I go see her every day. I hardly miss a day.” Don’t keep our work a secret; referrals are the best compliment you can give us. If you would like to be featured in our newsletter or if you know a family that could benefit from our services, please call 833.MEM.CARE (636.2273) or visit

Boss and Billie on their wedding day, Nov. 5, 1971

“I gave her the choice to retire first, but she didn’t want to,” Boss recalls. “[She’s a] very unselfish person, very caring for other people, always wanting to help people out. She was a beautiful lady back then, and she still is.” In early 2011, Billie was diagnosed with dementia. Boss and Billie sold the family’s accounting firm, and Boss did his best to care for Billie. But, like many family caregivers, Boss soon began to realize he couldn’t continue to care for Billie on his own. Boss knew it was time to find help after Billie wandered off on a camping trip and sneaked out of their house one winter night.

Boss and Billie traveling


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Honoring Service Memory Care America Recognizes Our Heroes

Memory Care America is committed to serving your loved ones, and our dedication to others filters into causes that are close to our hearts in our five communities. This fall was no different! Memory Care of Little Rock and Memory Care of Westover Hills raised awareness and funds for an organization close to home: the Alzheimer’s Association. Memory Care of Little Rock team members participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and our Memory Care of Westover Hills community hosted a Jenga tournament to raise funds for the walk this November. The timing of these events was perfect because November is also Alzheimer’s Awareness and Family Caregiver Month! November also has a special meaning for military families. All Memory Care America communities honored our nation's heroes with the events represented here by Memory Care of Naples , Memory Care of New Braunfels , and Memory Care of Simpsonville . We are forever indebted to these heroes and our nation’s veterans. It’s an honor to serve these residents every day. We couldn’t serve others without your support. Don’t keep our work a secret! If you know a family who could benefit from our services, direct them to, or find us on Facebook.

Above: Memory Care of Little Rock team members join Walk to End Alzheimer’s!

Above: Memory Care of Westover Hills raises funds for Walk to End Alzheimer’s with a Jenga tournament.

Above, left, and below: Memory Care of Simpsonville, Memory Care of Naples, and Memory Care of New Braunfels honor our veteran residents for their service.

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Take Care of Yourself You cannot give from an empty cup. Don’t focus all your energy on your loved one. That’s our job at Memory Care America! Instead, find time to care for yourself. Go for a walk, do yoga, or read your favorite book with a cup of hot cocoa. When you take time to manage all aspects of your health this holiday season, you’ll be able to better give your time and care to others. Delegate You don’t have to do everything, and frankly, in order to finish everything, you will need to ask for help. Ask your family to help with the cleaning, cooking, and shopping, so you can focus on the tasks most important to you. Our staff at Memory Care America can help you accomplish any care-related tasks or planning for holiday parties in our communities, too!

We can make it through the holidays, and we’ll do it together. From our Memory Care America family to yours, have a happy holiday season.




—Linda Carrasco President & COO, Memory Care America

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Inside 1 Helping You Have a Merry Holiday Season 2 The Hendricks Family Find Support at Memory Care America 3 Memory Care America Honors Local Heroes This Fall 3 Word Search 4 Boost Your Mental Health This Season

Memory Care Wellness

FEELING SAD? Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that people experience every fall and winter. If you find yourself feeling blue as the days become shorter and darker, know there are things you can do to boost your mood until spring returns. Increase Your Activity Keeping your body active can increase your energy levels, help you sleep, reduce anxiety, and boost your self-esteem. Summit Medical Group states that a person who exercises for 30–60 minutes a day can manage or avoid SAD easier than a person who does not exercise regularly. When you participate in physical activity, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which have a morphine- like effect on your brain. If exercising outdoors is not ideal, consider swimming, walking, or dancing instead. Get Some Sun Exposure to sunlight is also significantly beneficial for people suffering from SAD. Sunlight helps your body produce adequate amounts of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. Getting just a few minutes of sunlight a day through a walk or short jog can make all the difference. If you live in an area where the winters are bleak, cloudy, and dark, sunlight can

be harder to come by. But technology has you covered: You can purchase “sun lamps,” which simulate sunlight without the damaging UV rays. Just set up a sun lamp in your workspace or living area and feel your mood lift. Maintain Your Routine Often, it can be difficult to stick with your daily routine during the cooler months. It may be harder to wake up on time in the morning to work out, or it may be too cold outside to go on your daily run. Luckily, you can find small ways to mitigate this. For example, invest in a sunrise alarm clock, which gently wakes you

up with a simulated sunrise, or shop for high-quality thermal workout gear. If you continue to suffer from SAD and feel there’s no end in sight, it’s important to seek help from professionals. They can determine the best treatment options available for you.


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