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January 27, 2023

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

Category: Dementia Resources

Author: Stacey Russell, 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 Princeton Senior Living we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

When visiting someone with dementia, family members and friends set the tone for the visit. Coming in with expectations on how a visit will go does not set the Memory Care Neighborhood up for a successful visit. It is important to keep the visit positive. Oftentimes, we have multiple people wanting to visit their loved one; however, smaller groups of two or three will help the visitation be more pleasant. It is easy to overwhelm someone with dementia with a large group. Share happy stories and pictures to keep the visit upbeat. Reminiscing about the past is a great way to keep the visit pleasant, especially if there are photos or momentums for the resident to hold.

Usually, during the day is the best time to visit someone with dementia. Checking with caregivers is the best way to know what time the best time is to call on your loved one. Picking a time that is not too stimulating is important too. If you are planning to visit with them while they are eating, for example, it may cause them to be distracted with so many things going on.

Always end your visit on a good note. Some residents can easily become upset if they know their family members are leaving, so we avoid the goodbye portion of the visit. Others want to know, so they can say goodbye and end the visit with a hug. Asking caregivers, the best way to end a visit or for feedback about how things went after the last visit is a great way to help decide the best way to end a visit.

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 Princeton Senior Living in Lee's Summit, 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 Lees Summit Medical Center and St. Lukes East with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Shamrock Hills Golf Club, Fred Arbanas Golf Course, Summit Fair Shopping, Summit Woods Crossing, Legacy Park StoneHaus Farms Winery, James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife, StoneHaus Winery, and Longview Lake.

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