Journaling is the act of writing down one’s thoughts or experiences with the hope of understanding them better. It can help you clear your head of images and ideas you have been holding onto that are keeping you from moving forward in life. Some memory care residents may find journaling to be beneficial to their well-being. The act of writing can help the brain process difficult events, and journals are a place for residents to document thoughts, feelings, and memories. This article will address how journaling can be beneficial to memory care residents with Dementia.
1. Help Them Understand Themselves Better
Journaling as a form of creative therapy is a way of identifying how you are feeling and understanding how to use your experiences to improve your life. Journaling allows you to identify things that are troubling you and that are hard for you to verbalize. Journal writing will allow residents who cannot verbalize their concerns, such as those with dementia, an outlet for this expression.
2. Journaling Can Help Them Organize Their Thoughts
Journaling is a great way to organize your thoughts and feelings, which can be useful for memory care residents. Journaling allows you to declutter your mind so that you can focus on the present. Journals also allow residents to see how well they have been functioning over a period of time.
3. Helps With Self-Awareness and Identity
Journaling allows you to stay in touch with who you are and where you have been throughout life. It is often hard for a person to realize what has happened in their life. It can be harder for those with dementia to know who they are. The act of journaling will help them maintain their identity and self-awareness as it provides residents with a written record of their lives, which can be helpful when trying to restore memories.
4. Journaling Can Help You Relive the Past
Memory Care residents have difficulty remembering the past or old traditions or holidays. Journaling can help restore their memory of the past. For example, if a resident writes about memories from traveling in their youth and then shows them to their family members, it might help them feel closer to their children and grandchildren.
5. Journaling Can Improve Mental Health
Journaling has been shown to improve your mental health by helping you better understand yourself and how your emotions manifest themselves. A journal can be a great outlet to deal with problems you are facing or to deal with past traumas that might be causing issues. Journaling can also help you identify which activities may cause stress and how to cope with stress.
6. Helps Promote Empathy
Journaling has been shown to promote empathy for others. When residents write about their feelings, it helps demonstrate a glimpse into their lives and how they feel about certain things. Reading their journals can help family members empathize with their loved one to gain a better understanding of them.
7. Journaling Can Improve Mood
Journaling can improve your mood because it is a type of therapy that allows you to deal with anxiety, stress, anger, and sadness. When you write these things down, taking the time to actually process these feelings, it can be an opportunity for you to heal from past traumas and hardships.
8. Helps Maintain Strength in the Face of Illness or Loss
When you journal, you can reflect on different times in your life when you were strong. It is also a good way to express your feelings or thoughts about a particular event that happened in your life. Looking back at those times when you felt strong can help give you perspective about situations where you may not have felt strong enough to cope.
9. Journaling Can Improve Advocacy Skills
Writing about your feelings can help you understand what advocates are trying to tell you. Because writing helps clear your head and causes you to reflect on your feelings, it can help you be a better advocate for yourself and others.
10. Journaling Can Help You Deal With Relationship Stress
Many elders with dementia are dealing with relationship issues, which can be hard to cope with. When they are in their home and unable to find a way to express themselves or deal with problems, journaling is a good outlet for them to be able to deal with these issues so that they are not affecting the rest of their family. It is also beneficial for family members who are dealing with the effects of dementia.
11. Journaling Can Help You Record Important Information
Journaling is a great way to record important information that memory care residents might forget. It allows them to write down the names of family members and friends they would like to see or phone numbers for different people in case they want to give it to someone. It is also a good way for memory care family members to write down their care instructions or other important things that would be helpful for a resident if they ever became unable to verbalize their needs.
12. Journaling Can Help Residents Understand Their Rights
Journaling is a great way for memory care residents to understand their rights, especially those unable to communicate verbally with others. For example, a resident might be confused about why they cannot take their medication by mouth. A journal can show them the reasons why and provide insight into the condition that led to the decision. It can also help them understand what type of things they are allowed to do as opposed to things they cannot do, even though they might want to.
Give Journaling a Try!
Journaling is a great way for memory care residents to express themselves, which can be helpful for those who are not able to verbally communicate their needs. It is also a good way to help them improve their mental health and maintain their identity. For family members, it can be a useful way to learn more about your loved one, including how they think and feel about different things and the important events in their life.