Before Visiting Someone with Dementia, Consider This Advice.
- By: Scott Vanderhoef
- Alzheimer's Disease
It may be a little intimidating to understand exactly what to mention and just how to act when spending time with someone you care about with dementia. And, sadly, due to a number of inherent symptoms of the disease, often relatives feel so uncomfortable they avoid going to see the person at all. Understanding a little more about Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, what to anticipate, and planning ahead about the best way to manage challenging behaviors can really help.
The chief difficulties family caregivers and friends encounter in their senior loved one with dementia end up in one of three categories: changes in behavior, reduced memory, and communication ability; and the amount of difficulty will most likely fluctuate based on the particular stage of the disease the senior is actually experiencing.
As a way to help overcome these challenges while making the visit as enjoyable as possible, Heaven at Home Senior Care’s Denton caregivers recommend the following approach:
Begin your visit with a smile, and be ready to re-introduce yourself if required.
Use very simple language and brief sentences, and speak slowly.
Steer clear of arguing with or correcting the senior.
Bring photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.
Listen to a few of the person’s favorite music together, and ask her or him to dance if you’d like!
Taking a walk together if possible, or any other physical exercise, can make the visit more enjoyable for both of you.
Stay calm during your visit, even in the event the senior gets agitated or displays inappropriate behavior.
Keep a sense of respect during your conversation, knowing the person will probably repeat questions and statements.
Cut down on distractions to give the individual your full attention.
Most importantly, try to remember who the person was pre-dementia, and remind the individual what he or she has done which has inspired you or helped you grow into the person you are today.
For additional recommendations on effective communications with those with Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized hands-on care assistance, contact the dementia care team at Heaven at Home Senior Care. Our skilled Denton caregivers are fully trained and experienced in many different tactics to ensure seniors with Alzheimer’s disease remain secure and safe and therefore are in a position to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all of the time.