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Visiting your aging parent with memory loss

As a loving son or daughter, you naturally want regular visits with your parent. And even though life has changed as your parent’s dementia has progressed, it’s our goal at Avalon Memory Care to help both of you feel comfortable and connected during your visits. Here are some tips to make your visits memorable:

Visiting Your Parent

Our visitation areas for families are specially designed to minimize distractions and promote comfort. We have a beautiful sitting area with plenty of natural light for enjoying board games, puzzles, or crafts together. If the weather permits, you and your parent might like to relax on the covered decks or take a stroll around our gorgeous garden areas to admire the flowers or do some birdwatching. Many families prefer to visit during the morning or early afternoon hours, as some of our residents with Alzheimer’s experience sundowning symptoms later in the evening.

Sharing a Meal

Family members are always welcome to share a meal with their loved ones in our comfortable dining room. Our chef-prepared meals are as delicious as they are nutritious, and our menu focuses on whole foods: fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, and meats.

Bringing Additional Visitors

Families often wish to visit in groups during the holiday season since everyone is together for the holidays. Still, our experience has been that smaller groups are better for individuals receiving Alzheimer’s support services.

If your parent becomes agitated by the overstimulation of larger groups, try scheduling two or three visitors a few times throughout the holidays. Staggering visits will also enable everyone to have more moments of connection with your parent. I will simplify dynamics and allow your parent to focus on each visitor.

Help Visitors Make the Most of Their Visits

Give visitors an update on your loved one’s current behavior and capacity. Visitors who have not seen your parent for a while may need to know what to expect. Ask them to introduce themselves simply: “Hi Aunt Mary, I’m John, your nephew,” to help your parent place them if possible.

Remind visitors the two essential factors in communicating with your parent are a pleasant tone and friendly facial expression. Encourage them to go with the flow of the conversation and keep questions simple. Chatting about past times or looking at old photos can be an excellent way to spend time together.

Tell visitors that it’s also okay to just sit together during visits, holding hands or listening to music. The presence of loved ones is the best gift for your parent, no matter what happens during the visit.

Bringing Personal Items

Please feel free to bring personal items to help your loved one decorate for the holidays.
Remember that blinking lights, dĂ©cor with motion detectors, or noises can be startling for people with dementia. Simple decorations like a bright poinsettia, plush figures, wreaths, and garlands can add a lot of holiday cheer to your parent’s room. Maybe add a few photographs of family Christmases past or some ornaments that trigger special memories.
In the mood to bake? Holiday treats to share are a popular gift as well.

The compassionate assisted living caregivers at Avalon Memory Care want you to know that while your parent is living with us, they will receive nothing less than respectful, loving care within our comfortable, safe, and fully-staffed homes.

We welcome your visits. Please take your time while visiting your loved one here and do let us know if you have any questions about your parent’s memory care.

 

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By |2021-12-21T14:49:31-06:00December 21st, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments