Memory care specialists agree: those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss benefit greatly from social interaction. Visits from friends and family members who engage them in conversation help to promote cognitive functioning and emotional health, even if they don’t clearly recognize their visitor.
However, the possibility that they won’t be remembered or know what to expect often keeps visitors away. A lack of understanding of memory loss is the main cause of hesitation in potential visitors. They don’t know what to expect and often fear that their friend or loved one won’t remember who they are. This is a real possibility, and it can be an emotionally trying experience for a visitor to witness their loved one’s decline.
But, it’s worth it for the person with memory loss for visitors to get over their concern and make the effort. Visits can be healthy for both parties and extremely successful with the proper understanding of how memory loss affects your loved one. All it takes is the willingness to learn a new way to communicate.”
If you have a friend or loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, learning about their condition is a great first step toward spending time with them successfully. It’s important to be prepared for the possible ways in which memory loss may change your loved one over time. More than just loss of memory, dementia can make it difficult for a person to think of correct words to use, follow along in a conversation or react appropriately. Depending on how advanced their disease is, you are likely to witness many changes as their cognitive abilities decline over time.
Learning how to cope with these changes takes practice, but developing some new communication techniques and coordinating with their caregiver can put you on the path toward pleasant visits.
Experts in memory care, as well as long-time caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, have much to share in terms of communicating with a loved one with memory loss. Marie Marley, award-winning author of Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy, shares 25 tips for visiting a person with Alzheimer’s disease. The following advice can help you improve the quality of your visits:
At Tuscan Gardens, we’re dedicated to helping seniors with memory loss, as well as their families and friends. If you could use more information about memory loss and the symptoms your loved one might be experiencing, our experienced team is happy to help you learn more.
For those who are living with the effects of memory loss, visits from friends and relatives can be truly meaningful. A visit with you might have the power to boost their mood and make their whole day!