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January 27, 2023

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

Category: Memory Care

Author: Ally Arguello, 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 Wildwood Senior Living we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

Family members and visitors set the tone for the transition and mood of how a visit will go. A positive attitude and compassion can be reassurance for a resident. Visitors can make the time more pleasant by bringing something for a resident that makes them happy. Examples would be a shake from Sonic or their favorite candy bar. Getting down to their eye level, holding a loved one’s hand, and creating that intimate, personal interaction can make someone living with dementia feel loved and important.

I recommend visiting a resident with dementia during mid-morning. I have noticed individual residents tend to have a more positive, energetic attitude when they have visitors during that time.

When it’s time to end your visit, you should never say “goodbye.” My favorite way to end a conversation is to redirect with a different activity. Letting the resident know they have a task to complete can make them feel purposeful. Telling the resident, you “will be back soon” assures them you will return.

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 Wildwood Senior Living in Joplin, MO offers assisted living and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located with easy access to a wide variety of attractions and local shopping.

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