Senior Health Strategist and COVID -19 survivor pens an op-ed for families caring for dementia patients during Coronavirus pandemic

CEO of MKR Senior Health Strategist

Malana Rideaux, CEO of MKR Senior Health Strategist is an experienced marketingpublic relations and competitive intelligence professional, and has distinguished herself across southeast Texas in the hospice and home health care business.

At her core, Malana finds fulfillment in connecting individuals and families to comfort in times of transition. At MKR the company focuses on finding long-term and short-term care for senior citizens as well as senior placement and caregiver staffing. 

 Malana credits her passion for seniors and hospice care when she was tasked with caring for her grandmother who was gravely ill with colon cancer. The care made her grandmother’s transition more peaceful and aided in her close-knit family’s adjustment to the loss.

Through her works in the health care industry, Malana contracted the coronavirus and knows first-hand how the virus can ravish your mind, body, and spirit.  

“This new normal that we have all been forced to adhere to has been hard on the strongest and healthiest of us but for those with disabilities, you can’t begin to imagine,” said Malana. “I have seen it all and fought my way back from death’s door but my heart cries for patients suffering from dementia the most.”

Feeling a sense of urgency Malana penned an op-ed to her senior care partnerships throughout Houston to help them better serve the underserved patients in their care while placing an emphasis on Dementia.  

“We all know the rules; wash your hands, don’t touch your face, wear a mask but it goes beyond that for dementia patients because they can’t remember to wash their hands and not to touch their face,” said Malana. “They rarely remember their names and what year it is.”

Some of the tips that Malana provided to the senior living facilities in the op-ed are as follows:

1. Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients feed off of our reactions. They may not hear or understand what we are saying but if they see us acting worried or anxious, they will respond in mirror fashion. So, as best as we can, we have to develop a sense of calm when around our loved ones with dementia. And again, because we are human, don’t expect to be able to do this all the time! Just be conscious of how you are presenting and how your loved one may read/respond to it. For example; wiping down packages and counters, etc. should be done out of eyeshot of our loved ones when possible.

2. Choose positive, light entertainment.  We always caution about the influence television shows have on the reality of our loved ones with dementia. Sometimes, they believe a show they are watching is actually happening to them and they are a part of it. Others may take aspects of a program, intermingle it with an old memory and it suddenly becomes the present reality. Routine is a huge deal for dementia patients so if they are an avid news watcher tune into the news later in the broadcast to avoid ‘breaking news” or lead stories that will surely be about the COVID-19 virus.

3. Social distancing can be difficult but is important. Your loved one with dementia may count on seeing grandchildren, adult children, close friends on a regular basis. But as we all know, social distancing among people who don’t live with us daily is key to minimizing COVID-19’s spread. So, try to utilize modern technology via FaceTime or Zoom visits or any of the many other telecommunication modes available now.  Weather permitting, grandchildren can visit outdoors and wave through windows. Maybe they can even put on a performance in the backyard that your loved one can watch! Again, explain the distance simply and without a lot of details. “We’re doing this just for now so we all stay healthy.” Or, “the kids have colds and don’t want to give them to you.” Stretching the truth is perfectly acceptable when trying to keep your loved one’s calm and safe and dignity intact.

Please read full op-ed attached below

If you would like to learn more about Malana and her works in the community please contact Hodges Communications Group, LLC or

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