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January 27, 2023

Vitalia Active Adult Community – Solon Discusses How to Have Meaningful Visits With Someone Living With Dementia

Category: Dementia Resources

Author: Julia Mawby, Memory Care Director

Dementia is an umbrella term for loss of memory and other thinking abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. When someone is diagnosed with dementia, at least two parts of the brain are dying. Dementia is progressive, chronic, and terminal, which creates many challenges.  Relationships continue to be vital to families, regardless of a dementia diagnosis. At Vitalia Active Adult Community – Solon we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

Visitors within our Memory Care Neighborhoods have a huge impact on how visits will go. It’s very important for visitors to maintain a positive and approachable attitude throughout their time in the community. Our residents can pick up on moods through body language, facial expressions, and how we speak to them. It’s important to maintain patience throughout your visit and to meet the resident where they are mentally, as to not confuse them further.

There are many ways to make a visit pleasant for your loved ones. Family members are always welcome to come share a meal or participate in an event with their loved one, but for a one-on-one visit, family members and friends can bring a favorite snack, a collection of memories, or even a furry friend. It’s important to not overwhelm them with information and to keep the visit as light and positive as possible. Your loved one will feed off of your energy, so the more positive and happier you are, they will be too.

The best time to visit someone with dementia depends solely on the individual. Some residents are more alert and oriented in the morning, which could be the best time for family and friends to get the most out of their visit, while other residents may struggle in the morning and benefit more from later calls. It is important for family and friends to get to know the resident’s routine and to communicate with caregivers to learn the best times for meaningful visits.

How you should end your visits varies from person to person, but it is always best to leave on a positive note with reassurance you will be back soon. Some residents do not cope well with their loved ones leaving. It may be best to let them know you’ll be stepping out for a minute and inform the caregivers, so your loved one can be engaged when you leave. Our caregivers are trained to redirect your loved one to keep them happy and engaged in your absence.

We hope this information has given you some fresh tips and ideas for visiting someone living with dementia. Quality connections are essential for the person living with the disease, as well as yourself. If your visit still doesn’t go well, don’t beat yourself up. Every day is a new day. Be patient and you will figure out what works best. Giving your time to someone living with dementia is the best gift possible. 

VITALIA® Solon in Solon, OH offers senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include The Lake Effect Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located just southwest of Hwy 77 and 480 just moments from Ahuja medical with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Signature of Solon, Uptown Solon, Cleveland Metro Parks, Rollhouse Solon, and Chagrin Falls Shopping District.

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