Wednesday Workshop – Tips for Family Members When Visiting a Loved One with Memory Loss
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Today we will suggest some tips for you to consider while visiting your loved one in an assisted living facility. These tips are especially relevant if your loved one suffers from memory.
Visiting your loved one is important since it plays a role in keeping you, relatives, and your loved one connected to each other’s lives.
Here are some suggestions:
- Visit during the best time: There will be times when you try to visit your loved one, but he or she is sleeping or not in the mood to engage with you. This is normal and you have to determine if leaving them be is the appropriate thing to do. If you are familiar with your loved one’s moods throughout the day, then try to visit during those times when he or she will be the least aggravated or tired. The goal here is to ensure that your visits are positive experiences for every party.
- Bring items from home: This will be a way to start a conversation with your loved one about events in the past. This tip is important to follow if your loved one has memory loss. Bring an old photo that may invoke happy memories or bring a prized object they cherish. People with neurological degenerative disorders usually have a more difficult time keeping up with current events, so it is important to bring objects they may remember from blissful times in the past. This will help prompt them to retell stories and reminisce.
- Keep questions simple: Like communicating with any aging individual who has memory loss, try not to ask complicated questions. Instead, try to ask “yes” or “no” questions like: “Are you feeling happy today?” or “Would you like something to eat?” and so on. This will keep the conversation simple and give you the necessary information about what you can currently do to help your loved one who may be unable to communicate as easily as before.
- Minimize distractions: Try to ensure that your loved one can concentrate on the situation at hand. If there are a lot of noises outside, then close doors or windows. If there are TVs on which may be interfering, turn down the volume. Try to facilitate communication by removing noise and other environmental factors that may distract your loved one.
- Bring Gifts: An easy way to do this is to bring your loved one’s favorite treats like pastries or some tea from a café. This act can make a big difference in their mood.
- Decorate their new home: Consider bringing decoration from your loved one’s previous living environment to decorate their new living space. Some assisted living facilities allow you to customize your loved one’s room, add televisions and or a radio, and install a phone. Correspond with staff at the facility to see what ways you can accommodate your loved one. These decorations can make an unfamiliar place a lot happier if you include the right things. Only you know your loved one well enough to consider what to bring.
- Volunteer at the facility if possible: If you find yourself wanting to be closer to your loved one, then you may think about asking the facility about ways to get involved. This may range from participating in some event organizing or helping out with other tasks. This will allow you to be closer to your loved one and to be heavily involved in their day to day life.
Visiting your loved one is an important thing to do as a concerned family member and a caregiver. We hope the tips we have shared can help assure positive experience during visits. It is not always easy to interact with a loved one who has memory loss, but following some of the communication strategies listed can help your interactions go more easily.
To learn more or to speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199 or email us below. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!