How to Have a Good Visit with a Family Member in a Memory Care Facility
If you have a family member who has dementia and lives in a memory care facility, where they can get the specialized care they need, you should still visit them. Even if their memory isn't perfect anymore, visits with family still matter.
If you feel uncomfortable and are not sure how to conduct yourself around your family member with dementia, here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable and prepared for your visit.
Say Who You Are
When you go and visit your loved one at the memory care facility, you will want to introduce yourself. Dementia has different stages and can impact people at different levels, so you will want to ensure that you look at them in the eye, at their level, smile, and say who you are. Be sure to include your relationship with them. That way, your loved one will not have to try and figure out who you are. Facial memory is often impacted, so your loved one may remember your name but not your face.
Bring Things that are Familiar
Bring items with you that you can use to connect with your loved one. If you used to listen to music, bring it with you and play it during your visit. Or if there is a book or author you know they like, bring that for them. Bringing in things that your loved one may remember and identify with can help make both of you more comfortable.
Divert Instead of Arguing
If your loved one says something that is incorrect or isn't correct regarding the present, you don't need to correct your loved one or argue with them. You can agree with them or divert the conversation. For example, if they ask about a loved one who has already passed away, you don't have to share that fact with them and cause them pain. It is okay to divert the conversation and avoid arguments.
It Is Okay to be Quiet
Finally, it is essential to understand that it is okay to be quiet with your loved one together. Sometimes, it is nice just to have someone with you. For example, when you are hanging out at home, you may not be talking with your family members the entire time. It is just nice to have someone else in your home with you. The same is true for your family member with dementia; it is just nice to have someone in the same room, hanging out with them.
You should visit your family member in Alzheimer's care or memory care facility. Even though they have memory issues, they are still going to appreciate your visit. Introduce yourself, bring familiar things, and you can connect with them over, don't try to always fill the silence, and remember that it is okay to be quiet.