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January 27, 2023

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

Category: Dementia Resources

Author: Camilla Strickland, 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 Wellington Senior Living we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

Family members and friends can really impact how a visit will go with their loved one with dementia. It’s important to come with positivity, so that it can start in the right direction. Oftentimes if family or friends just hold hands or reminisce with pictures, taking this time to bond can be just what’s needed for a meaningful visit.

I always think of a positive, physical approach with any interaction with their loved one. Simply coming in with a smile on your face, offering your hand, and using a low and calm tone when speaking can set up a visit for success. I think it’s important to keep questions to a minimum and try to use close ended questions for better responses.

The best visitation times really are individual based on what works best for the resident. Most times mid-morning or early afternoons are the best times to visit, as the residents are more alert and can contribute more. It’s also when some of the most fun programming events are happening. This can be an opportune time for family or friends to take part with their loved one.

When bringing a visit to a close, depending on the individual resident, it may be best to not say “goodbye.” Simply giving a hug and maybe just saying, “I’ll be back,” may suffice and keep the resident from being triggered and upset. It’s always okay to speak with the Memory Care Director and team to help with closing the visit by having the staff engage the resident with a program of their interest.

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 Wellington Senior Living in Liberty, MO offers senior villas, 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 Liberty Hospital with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Shoal Creek Golf Course, Historic Downtown Liberty, Stocksdale Park, and Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary.

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