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Visiting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: What Should I do?

Visiting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: What Should I do?

Visiting a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can trigger a lot of emotions – happiness, longing and sadness. Perhaps that’s the reason why people do not visit their loved ones in nursing homes beside the fact that they might just forget the interaction later on. But paying a visit to someone with Alzheimer’s is actually important for the patient. Studies have shown that patients with Alzheimer’s actually feel happy and secured after having visitors even if they fail to remember the people who visit them.

We know that it’s difficult to interact with your loved one who has Alzheimer’s. As an Assisted Living Home Care in Houston Texas, we suggest some tips for you to do when you visit your loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Plan Ahead

    Plan all the things you need before going to visit your loved one. Know when is the best time to visit and what to expect when you visit. You can ask some family members to go with you but just make sure that it won’t be too many so that your loved one will not be too overwhelmed to see A LOT of visitors in one day. Ask the caregivers about the changes of your loved one during his/her stay in the center so that you can prepare yourself on what will greet you when you visit them.

  • Remember

    Dos:

    • Introduce yourself right away. You can use the nickname they usually call you. Remind them who you are but don’t push them to remember you.
    • Be friendly and respectful. Keep your tone low and speak slower.
    • Give them extra time to think. Do not rush your loved ones to answer your questions.
    • Bring pictures or things that your loved ones used to enjoy, they might remember some good memories.
    • Respond as if it’s your first time to hear what your loved one is saying. Alzheimer’s patients tend to tell the same stories and ask the same questions over and over again.
    • Ask permission if you want to do something with your loved one.
    • Be flexible in your activities. It should depend in your loved one’s ability and mood during your visit.

    Don’ts:

    • Ask them if they remember a particular event or happenings from the past. Other than the fact that they just can’t, it is awkward and frustrating for them knowing that they can’t remember something they should have.
    • Argue or point out their mistakes during your conversations. You don’t want to anger your loved one during your visit, do you?
    • Invade their personal space. Don’t get too close if they don’t want to. Even if you were close in the past, they can’t remember you now.
    • Bring up topics that may make them sad.
    • Talk to others when you are talking to your loved one. Patients can be less responsive at times but avoid interacting with other people while you are having your conversation. Your loved one might think that you are talking about him/her.
  • Get to Know Other People in the Living Center

    Get to know the staff members so you can talk to them regarding the condition of your loved one. You can also share them some of your loved one’s likes and dislikes. Telling the staff some information about your loved one might help them provide better care and interaction.

    Moreover, meet the other residents in the living center to know more about the environment that your loved one is staying. These are the people whom your loved one usually interact with. Your loved one might actually be friends with some of them.

  • Never “Goodbye”

    One of the most difficult task to do when you visit is leaving your loved one again. Ask a staff to distract him/her while you leave. It’s more heartbreaking to hear him/her beg to take him/her with you than to have a silent exit.

  • Additional: Tell the Other Family Members about Your Visit

    Tell them about the current condition of your loved one. Also, state the things that they should and should not do when they plan on visiting him/her soon.

Visiting loved ones in a living center can help them in their battle. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones are well-taken care of. At Apex Oaks Assisted Living Center and Memory Care, we provide quality care and a welcoming environment for our residents. For inquiries about admission, call us at 281-469-8800.

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