Creating Great Visits for a Loved One with Memory Loss
Learn how to create great visits with your loved one in Memory Care. Try these engaging activities and stimulating questions during your time together.
Whether your loved one has been in Memory Care for a long time or is just moving into a new community, it is never too late to start creating more meaningful and pleasant visits. You can make visiting a loved one with dementia, Alzheimer's, or memory loss a joyful experience by giving them your time and attention. You can still connect with the person you care about whether they recognize you or even if they cannot exchange words.
This article will discuss several ways to make your Memory Care visits more meaningful, fun and engaging questions to ask your loved one, what to do during your visit, and how often you should visit a loved one to get the most out of your time.
Ways to Make Memory Care Visits More Meaningful
If you have been reluctant to visit recently or are feeling anxious and nervous about how to act around your loved one in Memory Care, preparing yourself for a visit beforehand can alleviate your worries.
Here are several tips that can help guide you through an interaction when visiting and engaging with your loved one:
- Introduce yourself and say your loved one's name frequently.
- Communicate clearly and slowly.
- Make eye contact with your loved one.
- Be patient and prepared to listen.
- Make the environment pleasant and comfortable.
- Remove distractions such as a loud TV, cell phones, etc.
- Ask the person what they want to do.
- Establish connections through a suitable activity.
- Bond by using an everyday item together.
- Allow for quiet time if your loved one feels tired or anxious.
- Relax and enjoy each other's company.
- Rather than simply saying goodbye, leave telling them how much you enjoyed your visit and how you care about them.
Fun Questions to Ask Someone with Dementia
Taking some time to ask your loved one meaningful questions may encourage a conversation full of unique and exciting memories. Ask open-ended questions about topics you think they would enjoy talking about, like family, friends, favorite hobbies, and childhood memories. If your loved one becomes confused, frustrated, or upset, try asking another time or rephrasing the question. Be patient and give them plenty of opportunities to respond. Try taking a long pause after asking a question to give them time to gather their thoughts before responding. Also, sit at their eye level, and keep your body language relaxed and open. Some questions you may want to ask could be:
- “When you were a teenager, what did you and your friends do for fun?”
- “What are some of the most valuable things you learned from your parents?”
- “What was your first job?”
- “Tell me about a time you fell in love.”
- “What was your favorite pet?”
Activities to Try with A Loved One in Memory Care
Visiting your loved ones in Memory Care can help raise their spirits, bring them joy, and lessen their anxiety. When you visit, it’s best to come prepared with a couple of engaging, stimulating activities to make your next visit the most memorable time yet.
Some activities to try including the following:
- Bring favorite and familiar objects that may stimulate memories and encourage you to reminisce about life.
- Change the scenery and go on an outing. If it is possible to go on an excursion outside the Memory Care Community, visit their favorite place around town, spend the afternoon at a local spot, or have a picnic. A change of scenery can provide purpose to their day.
- Take a walk around in nature. Exploring nature and getting some fresh air, from walking in a local garden to sitting on a bench together, will be refreshing and invigorating.
- Arts and crafts such as painting can be a way for your loved ones to express themself and enjoy being creative.
- You can also play board games together, which can also be taken outside in a nice spot with fresh air.
How Often Should You Visit a Loved One in Memory Care?
The frequency at which you visit someone with Memory Care challenges matters. With a consistent schedule, you can make a difference in their fulfillment and livelihood.
Can You Visit Someone with Dementia Too Much?
Many visitors wonder what is the best amount of time to visit a person with Dementia. However, it’s more important to consider how often you visit rather than the length of time you spend together.
For example, it is better to visit three times per week for 20 minutes than once a week for an hour. Shorter visits are best as people with dementia usually do not remember if they have been there for five minutes or five hours. Also, limit the number of visitors not to overwhelm the individual.
There are many other ways to make it easier for your loved one if they have memory loss challenges. If they are experiencing a lack of sleep and agitation, you can learn more in our next article, “Everything You Need to Know About Dementia and Sleep Challenges.”
Find Senior Care Near You
Your visits with your loved one in Memory Care have value. Do not let your fear or anxiety become an obstacle – it is a challenge that should be embraced! It can also be an opportunity to have deeply connected conversations, create new memories, learn something new about them, and give them happiness and comfort seeing family.
Let Referah's experts help guide you through the Memory Care process. We work closely with seniors and their families in communities across the country. Talk to one of our experts about finding professional senior care and support near you today.