Just because your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer
Just because your loved one has dementia or Alzheimers, doesn't mean they can't enjoy a visitor's company. It takes skill and patience from both sides to ensure the visit is enjoyable. Here are our top tips you can share with your loved one's visitors ahead of time:
1. Minimise distractions by keeping the environment calm and quiet. Switch off the TV, radio and consider limiting visitors to just one or two at a time.
2. Arrange the visits at a time of day when your loved one is typically feeling their best.
3. Have visitors introduce themselves, even if you're sure they know who the visitor is. E.g "Hi Grandma, I'm Sam your Grandson." Be prepared to do this a few times during the visit.
4. Speak slowly and clearly. Keep at eye level consider their field of vision: try and sit or stand right in front of your loved one rather than off to one side.
5. Give your loved one extra time to speak or ask questions. Never rush them. Use open-ended questions because there are no right or wrong answers.
6. Come prepared with an activity in mind such as a photo album, book to read out loud together, game or favourite music to listen to. However, it's also ok to sit together in silence- they may enjoy this just as much as talking.
7. Enter their reality. Go with the flow even if your loved one says things which are odd or don't make sense.
What tips would you give for engaging with people living with dementia?