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Tips for Visiting Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s or other forms of Dementia in Assisted Living or Memory Care Facilities in Jacksonville

People sometimes think that it’s pointless to visit those with Alzheimer’s because that won’t remember the visit anyway. Although your loved one might not be able to recall the specific details of your visit, the feelings you create during a positive visit can  improve your loved one’s mood, change how they interacts with others and create positive feelings that can all day.

Increase the likelihood of creating a positive visit by knowing what to expect and by setting realistic goals. Remember, those with Alzheimer’s sometimes experience anxiety, changing behaviors and can easily become upset or confused. Sadly, our loved one may not be able to recognize you right away, or come up with your name, but these are symptoms of the disease and not a reflection of the person’s love or relationship with you.

Setting the Stage for a Positive Visit:

Always introduce yourself. You may think it should be obvious that you’re the favorite nephew, but your loved one may not be able to place you, and that can be distressing for both of you. Save any possible embarrassment or awkward moments by introducing yourself right away.

Convey respect. Although your loved one’s memory is not what it used to be, don’t talk down to them or treat them like a child. In spite of their confusion, respect them and their many life experiences.

Eliminate distractions. You’re more likely to have a good visit, with meaningful conversation if you minimize the distractions occurring around you. If the room you’re visiting in is crowded or noisy, suggest going outside or down the hall for a quiet walk.

Avoid using slang or unclear statements. Communicating with a loved one that has Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia is usually more effective when you use simple statements or direct questions. Don’t create confusion by using modern jargon, asking to many questions or talking fast.  

Bring pictures to the visit. Make it a point to bring a few pictures or even an old photo album to each visit. Photos will act as inspiration for good conversation and can help trigger positive memories and names that are stored in loved one’s long term memory bank. Chances are good that your loved one will enjoy seeing and will feel reassured by the photos, even if the response you receive seems minimal.

No disagreements allowed. Arguing with someone who has Alzheimer’s is never beneficial. Even if your loved one is completely wrong about something, you will accomplish very little by disagreeing. Arguments can quickly ruin any visit, and will likely increase your loved one’s overall confusion, agitation and frustration. Just go with the flow, unless it something really important.

See leading Senior Living and Nursing Home facilities in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Ponte Vedra, and St. Augustine.

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