Visiting Someone Living with Dementia

Written by Eleven, | August 23rd, 2018

People who live with Dementia can become anxious and frightened at times and may have trouble recognising people. Their behaviour can be unusual or awkward and they may find it hard to express themselves or understand people. However, feelings remain as does spiritual awareness. Visits can stimulate warm feelings, bring comfort and reaffirm spiritual truths.

When visiting a loved one living with Dementia, try to:

-Wear something bright or colourful
-Approach from the front (don’t tap on the back or shoulder)
-Introduce yourself with an explanation
-Smile and make eye contact
-Sit at the same level, perhaps touch their hand if appropriate
-Speak simply, one comment at a time
-Listen and give time for answers or comments
-Be positive and reassuring
-Be patient
-Accept Incorrect statements as they may be caused by memory loss or faulty logic
-Acknowledge the emotions behind the words

Suggestions for things to take or do when visiting people living with Dementia:
-Take a magazine, postcard, flower catalogue
-Play a game – checkers, dominoes, etc.
-Listen to a CD – familiar music, hymns or songs
-Watch a DVD of flowers, gardens, water views
-Reminisce about the past, people or places
-Look at photographs or illustrated books
-Read a passage from their favourite book
-Smile, and share laughter
If appropriate, take something soft for them to hold or stroke, or a lavender bag to evoke memories.
The visit need not last long. It is the feelings that remain, not the length of time spent. Someone living with Dementia might forget that you came, but the warmth and feelings of your care will not be forgotten.
You may be distressed by a loved one’s condition, but be encouraged in that your visit will have made their day better and helped them to feel more connected to those around them.
Departure should not be a big deal, remember to “parachute in, evaporate out”.
Feelings remain when facts are forgotten.
Every Greengate Village caters to a range of care needs, from independent living in our retirement apartments to 24-hour nursing care in our boutique aged care homes. If you would like to learn more about our tailored care options for people living with Dementia, please call us today on 07 3129 9075.
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