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January 27, 2023

Cedar Trails Senior Living Discusses How to Have Meaningful Visits With Someone Living With Dementia

Category: Dementia Resources

Author: Brianna Wilson, 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 Cedar Trails Senior Living we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

Family and friends can absolutely impact how a visit will go. It is important to approach your loved one with dementia from the front with a calming tone of voice. And a pleasant smile goes a long way. Visits are very important but keep them short and positive. Avoid questions like, “Do you remember when…” Instead start with a statement such as, “I felt very loved when you made us pancakes on Sunday mornings.” Visual tools, like photo albums, are also great resources. They make for great projects you can share together.

The best time to visit depends on your loved one. They should be well rested and not overstimulated. Generally, mornings are best, as they are more receptive to conversation.

When it comes time to leave, it can be difficult for everyone. It’s important to stay in a positive state of mind. You can gauge your loved one for the best approach. One person may be alright with a reason you need to leave, along with reassurance you’ll return. Another individual may need to be redirected by staff, so you’re able to leave without distraction. Avoid dragging it out and making a long goodbye.

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. 

Cedar Trails Senior Living in Freeburg, IL 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 St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers, including The Orchards Golf Club, Target, Eckerts Belleville Farm, Braeutigam Orchards, and the Belle Clair fairgrounds & Expo Center.

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