Living with Alzheimer's disease often means having to make living arrangements that support the need for around the clock care. While visiting your loved one somewhere new feels strange, the truth is that you will discover that their new home has allowed them to thrive. However, it is always best to make a few preparations to ensure that you and your loved one both enjoy the visit. As you get ready for your visit, use these strategies to keep it going smoothly:
Ask What Time Of Day Is Best
People with dementia often exhibit what is called sundowning behaviors such as increased agitation and restlessness. It is important not to let the name fool you, however, because sundowning can happen at any time of the day. Call ahead before your visit, and ask the staff about your loved one's daily routine. They can tell you during what times of the day that your loved one is most alert and in a good mood. Then, do your best to arrive for your visit during that time frame.
Bring a Surprise From Home
Having something to talk about always makes visits go better. Keep in mind that your loved one might not be able to recall major events in your lives together, so don't be upset if they fail to recognize a person in a photograph that you bring. However, they will still love looking through a photo album or listening to a song on your music player. A framed photo, tasty treat, or even some scented lotion can all add that little something extra to your visit that encourages interaction.
Follow Your Loved One's Lead
Although you never want to lie, you may find that it is simply easier for your loved one if you go along with things that they believe. For instance, they may ask how a deceased relative is doing or act as though they think you two are on vacation. It's typically best to just go with the flow since trying to correct them often leads to confusion. If you are unsure of how to react, try steering the conversation to another topic or move on to a new activity that serves as a distraction.
It only takes a few minutes into your visit to realize that your loved one is still the same person that you have cared for all these years. Yet, knowing what to expect and how to react to the changes that accompany dementia allows you to settle into your visit and enjoy reconnecting with your loved one.
Contact a company like Alta Ridge Communities for more information and assistance.