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January 26, 2023

The Township Senior Living Discusses How to Have Meaningful Visits With Someone Living With Dementia

Category: Senior Living

Author: Beth Orsburn, Memory Care Director

Dementia is an umbrella term for loss of memory and other thinking abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. When someone is diagnosed with dementia, at least two parts of the brain are dying. Dementia is progressive, chronic, and terminal, which creates many challenges.  Relationships continue to be vital to families, regardless of a dementia diagnosis. At The Township Senior Living we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

As memory care directors, we can’t control visits between family and residents, but we can offer suggestions for a successful one. We can share with the family the best times and length of visits that can impact their loved one. We also need to educate our families by suggesting seminars about dementia, along with other forms of literature. Happy visitation for our families and their loved ones makes a lasting impression on our Neighborhoods.

Some things a family member can do to make a visit pleasant for someone with dementia is bring stories and pictures to keep the time engaging and positive. Joining their loved one for a snack or ice cream is always a great engagement. Pets bring the biggest smiles and hugs! Offering a puzzle for them to do or sharing a drink usually works well. Keeping visits short and positive ensures a great experience for both.

Earlier in the day can be a better time to drop in, especially if their loved one suffers from sundowning. The length of the visit is also important, as well as the tone of the conversation. Communication with the family about how their loved one goes about their day increases the success of a visit.

Ending a visit with someone with dementia can be difficult. This is where we can help our families avoid the guilt of leaving. Avoid endings in verbal conversation and let them know you can’t wait to see them again and why. Staff or the Memory Care Director can help with a redirection, taking the resident to an activity, lunch, or the restroom can create a calm exit.

We hope this information has given you some fresh tips and ideas for visiting someone living with dementia. Quality connections are essential for the person living with the disease, as well as yourself. If your visit still doesn’t go well, don’t beat yourself up. Every day is a new day. Be patient and you will figure out what works best. Giving your time to someone living with dementia is the best gift possible. 

The Township Senior Living in Battlefield, MO offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Cox Medical Center South with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Backwoods Golf, Relics Antique Mall, Chesterfield Family Center, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, and Nathanael Green/Close Memorial Park-Botancial Gardens.

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