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January 27, 2023

The Madison Senior Living Discusses How to Have Meaningful Visits With Someone Living With Dementia

Category: Memory Care

Author: Elly Richerson, 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 The Madison Senior Living we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

Visitors should have the awareness, for our residents living with dementia, they may have good days and they may have some not-so-good days. As visitors of loved ones, you need to remain calm and not take it personally if they are not having a good day. It may be difficult for loved ones to recall who we are. We need to introduce ourselves, make them feel comfortable, and just understand they are doing the best they can. Remaining calm and smiling goes a long way!

Visitors are encouraged to bring in residents’ favorite food items, reminiscing items, or activities that were meaningful. We encourage our family members to join in on the group activities to make it feel as homelike as possible.

Visits earlier in the day, after they have completed their morning routine and breakfast, are preferable. Visits provide stimulation and engagement for our residents, so if it is too late in the day, they may get overstimulated and create behaviors. Checking with staff to see what the best times are for that individual would be best. This also assures they will not miss out on their favorite activities.

When it is time to end your visit, remain calm, positive, and avoid saying long “goodbyes.” If your loved one tends to exit seek, notify caregivers when you are ready to leave. They can redirect them to an activity they enjoy. Remember, every person is different and not every visit will be the same. Have patience and remain calm.

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. 

The Madison Senior Living in Kansas City, MO 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 Luke’s South/ Menorah with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Top Golf, Park Place Shopping Center, Worlds of fun/Oceans of fun, Kansas City Zoo, Union Station/Crown Center, National WWI Museum and Memorial, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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