Blog Hero

Can You Visit a Dementia Patient Too Much?

Schedule Your Tour

When a loved one has dementia, it can begin to affect almost all parts of their life. That’s why it’s so important to find help from a memory care community. It’s an environment where they can get proper care and support from a team of trained and experienced caregivers. But once they’re moved in, it’s essential to regularly visit!

When planning to visit a loved one with dementia, make sure you aren’t visiting every day—at least at first. Your loved one is going to need time to adjust to their new home, and visiting too frequently may make the experience more difficult. Instead, make a visitation schedule and try to stay consistent with it.

How Does Dementia Affect Communication?

Dementia is a serious neurodegenerative disorder, and it can impact almost every aspect of a person’s life. It causes certain brain cells to die off, eventually leading to a decline in a person’s cognitive function. It affects almost everything, from a person’s memory to their personality itself.

As dementia progresses, it can begin to cause severe communication difficulties. A person living with dementia may begin to lose their place in conversation or have difficulty remembering certain words. They may not know how to express themselves or pick up on social cues. Vocabulary, inflection, memory—it can all be impacted, leading to significant communication difficulties.

Because of this, it becomes essential to learn how to adapt your communication style when visiting a loved one with dementia. Socialization is a crucial part of life, after all.

The Importance of Visiting a Loved One with Dementia

Even though it can be difficult at first, it’s still crucial to regularly visit a loved one with dementia. The benefits of regular visits from family and friends can’t be overstated; socialization is one of the most essential pieces to a higher quality of life.

Regular social interaction for a person with dementia has plenty of benefits, including:

  • Boosting mood and self-esteem by reminding them that they are valued and loved.
  • Stimulating cognitive functions and potentially slowing the progression of memory loss through conversation and activities.
  • Reducing feelings of isolation and depression

Regular visits can help your loved one know that they aren’t alone, and that you still care for them and support them. Social interaction can play a significant role in reducing cognitive decline, which is closely linked with dementia progression. The benefits truly can’t be overstated—it’s a crucial part of helping a loved one living with dementia.

The key is to make these interactions as positive as possible. This means structuring visits to avoid overloading the person with too much activity or information. It also involves being mindful of how you communicate and engaging in activities that your loved one can still enjoy.

Tips for Visiting a Loved One with Dementia

When you’re visiting a loved one with dementia, it’ll take some time to learn how to effectively communicate and make the most of your visits. However, with a little bit of practice—and some of the following strategies—you can enjoy your time with your loved one, all while working around the changes dementia can bring.

It can help to:

  • Build a visitation schedule
  • Communicate clearly
  • Keep the peace
  • Bring along familiar belongings

Remember, it isn’t about the quantity of time you spend with your loved one. It’s about the quality. While regular social interaction plays an important role in your loved one’s quality of life, they’ll still need to take time to transition to their new home in memory care. Make sure that you give them the opportunity to adjust.

Build a Visitation Schedule

Dementia can cause confusion, anxiety, and frustration. When life seems unpredictable, these feelings can become amplified. Establishing a routine can provide a comforting sense of stability and anticipation, which may ease some of the stress associated with dementia.

It’s about finding a rhythm that works well with their current stage of dementia and complements their daily care. So to start, try building a proper visitation schedule. Make sure you’re considering all potential factors, including:

  • How often your loved one wants you to visit
  • How often you want to visit or are capable of doing so
  • Any existing routines or patterns that are part of your loved one’s life
  • The memory care community’s visitation guidelines

Consistency and predictability can be incredibly reassuring. It can help to coordinate with other family members, caregivers, and the team in your loved one’s community to build a calendar that spreads visits throughout the week. Even if you can only stop by for a short time, it can make a big difference.

Communicate Clearly

Clarity is key when it comes to interactions with a loved one with dementia. Speak slowly and in short, simple sentences. If you’re asking a question, give them time to respond—silence can sometimes be misinterpreted as agreement or endorsement, so it’s important to allow for an adequate response window.

If you’re reminiscing together, gently guide the conversation with prompts that help recall shared memories without too much strain. This can help stretch your loved one’s memory muscles and help them recall a cherished memory.

Keep the Peace

Conflict, even over minor issues, can be distressing for a person with dementia. Avoid interrupting, contradicting, or “correcting” your loved one. Instead, try to go with the flow of the conversation, even if it strays into quirky or nonsensical territory.

Validation and redirection are your best friends during these visits. Acknowledge their feelings and validate the emotional component of their experience, then gently steer the conversation to a positive or neutral topic.

Bring Familiar Belongings

Familiar objects and old photographs can serve as starting points for conversation and reminiscing. They can also help to ground your loved one in the present and offer a sense of continuity.

When bringing belongings, choose ones that are relevant to your visit and appealing to your loved one. Take the time to explore their sentimental value together, which can be a source of joy and connection for both of you.

Get Help for Your Loved One

Remember: while regular visits are essential, they’re only one piece of the puzzle. If your loved one has dementia, it’s crucial to get them the care they deserve. Our team at Fox Trail Memory Care believes in supporting seniors however we can, and we’re here to help you and your family. Request a visit with us today, and take the first step toward getting your loved one the love and support they deserve.

Written by adminfoxtrail

More Articles By adminfoxtrail
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax