Beloved relatives who live in assisted living locations always benefit from visits with their family, even if they cannot remember the names of their loved ones. The need for social connectivity is a basic human instinct, and socialization is considered therapeutic in Alzheimer’s care. To make your visit with your loved one more meaningful, you can become familiar with the dos and do nots of interacting during the latter stages of Alzheimer’s.
Arriving at the Memory Care Home
Verbal communication becomes less effective and impactful during the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease. When you visit, bring meaningful items that will stimulate the senses. Bring a CD with your loved one’s favorite song, a plate of baked treats prepared with family recipes, or a family photo album. Try to plan your visit for the morning hours, when your loved one will be less likely to be agitated.
Assume that your loved one will not remember your name. As you approach him or her, try to keep yourself in his or her field of vision. Use your loved one’s name and introduce yourself. You could say, “Aunt Sarah, it is so nice to see you! I am Becky.”
Having a Meaningful Conversation
As your loved one loses the power to communicate through speech, the nonverbal cues he or she uses become more important. If you cannot understand what your loved one is trying to say, ask him or her to gesture or point. You should continue to speak to your loved one in regular language, without resorting to “baby talk,” but do use short, simple sentences. Keep your tone of voice positive, show your love with a smile and offer a comforting touch.
Avalon Memory Care welcomes visiting family members and friends to share a home-cooked meal prepared by our talented chefs. Our memory care locations feature peaceful gathering areas in which to enjoy the company of loved ones. You can call (214) 752-7050 with any questions you may have about our bedside care for individuals with Alzheimer’s in Dallas, Arlington and Houston.