Journaling, the act of writing down your thoughts, experiences and ideas, can be beneficial for anyone at any age. The act can bring clarity to chaos in your mind and help ideas come to greater fulfillment as they are fleshed out on paper.
Writing in a journal is much more than keeping a diary, and people recognize the health advantages when used to understand your thoughts and difficult experiences or memories more fully. It is perfect for those in memory care residences.
If you are searching for senior living memory care in Lincoln that would have an empathetic team looking out for your loved ones and helping them enjoy what everyday life brings, consider CountryHouse Residence for Memory Care .
Now, let’s look at ways that journaling can add benefits to the life of those in senior living memory care in Lincoln:
#1) Reduce stress
Journaling is a tool that significantly reduces the impact of stress on your body. Expressively writing for 15-20 minutes a day at least 3 times a week was enough to lower blood pressure and improve liver function in just 4 months.
The specific timing of your writing can add to the benefit. If you write prior to bedtime, it can be a meditation practice that helps you sleep by helping you de-stress. It is a good practice to unwind before bedtime, and this is a practical way to do so.
At CountryHouse, we believe that good health goes beyond just the physical, and we nurture the four dimensions of the individual’s wellness: social, spiritual, intellectual and physical. Our caring professionals will help you figure out ways to meet these with numerous helpful activities.
#2) Relive the past
Sometimes memory care residents have trouble remembering the past, and journaling is a way to record memories when they have them. When they remember traditions, holidays, or just fun moments from their childhoods (which are oftentimes more easily remembered than recent events), writing them in a journal will allow them to explore the memory more fully and allow family and friends to have the memories in the future.
It may be difficult for residents to recall these when their family members come to visit, but if they can pull out their journals to help, they can travel the memories with their visitors without the stress of trying to recall on the spot, helping them feel closer to those who are there to see them.
Exploring these memories can also help individuals maintain their sense of identities. This may be especially important since they are often around others who have not known them for many years, not realizing their achievements and the strengths they have had in their younger years. Remembering these may help give residents the current strength they need for each day as they remember all they have done and been in their lives.
#3) Improve mental health
Journaling has been shown to improve your mental health by helping you understand yourself and your emotions. A journal is a wonderful outlet for dealing with current problems or for working through past trauma that is still on your mind. For instance, writing these down can help you deal with sadness, anxiety and anger. Taking time to write down your feelings actually helps you process them and understand how they affect you.
In addition, journaling can help promote empathy for others, including other residents or your family members and friends. This could help with relationship stress you may be encountering.
You can also use your journal to help you identify current activities that may be causing you stress to help figure out ways to alleviate the stress or decide on different activities you may want to replace them with to relieve the stress altogether.
CountryHouse has a full set of activities available to residents, so finding group or individual activities to fit your needs is available, and our professionals are ready to assist you in meeting your wellness goals.
#4) Organize thoughts and ideas
Since journaling can help you declutter your mind, it is great for the memory care resident. It helps organize thoughts, ideas and feelings when they are written down. Brain research has shown this is most helpful when handwritten using a pen or pencil in a paper journal, but if individuals’ health finds them with hands that shake too much, they can always switch to a computer program instead. Even if they do not have a lot of computer experience, there are very simple journal programs that can be set up.
In addition, maintaining a journal over a long period of time will help memory care residents to see how well they have been functioning over that time period and may even assist their healthcare providers in being able to tell if certain treatments have been beneficial for them.
#5) Record important information
The journals we have discussed here are expressive journals; however, patients may also want to keep a practical journal for information that they may need. They can keep a record of what they do each day, which may be both interesting to their families and helpful to them and their healthcare providers as they monitor their needs and activities.
Also, they can record their medications and any concerns they have. Sometimes residents may have concerns that are not severe enough to report just yet. By recording them in a journal, they would have the exact date they began to be concerned about the situation without having to wonder if it’s been a few days or a few weeks, which may make a very big difference for their health provider or counselor to consider.
It could be very interesting to also write down when friends and family come to visit. Maybe the information they discussed since discoveries of new family details are important and fun to know. Sometimes new information is difficult for memory care residents to recall, so this could be a tool for remembering important and fun details.
If you are looking for an excellent senior living community in a charming neighborhood with a caring staff, look no further! Contact CountryHouse now and let us show you what we have to offer!