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January 27, 2023

Vitalia Senior Residences at Strongsville Discusses How to Have Meaningful Visits With Someone Living With Dementia

Category: Dementia Resources

Author: Maria Sady, 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 Senior Residences at Strongsville we have some ideas and suggestions to help you have successful visits with your loved ones.

We all enjoy visits from our family and friends, so visiting is also important to our residents with dementia. When calling on them, it is important to smile and maintain a positive approach. Your body language, tone of voice, and cadence are what is going to drive the visit. Speaking clearly, listening attentively, and being aware of your surroundings are important, as are being patient and making sure you laugh together.

Family members can make the visit more pleasant by starting with an introduction. Try to establish a connection through a common item or person. Participating in activities together and bringing children or pets are also great ways to connect. Don’t be afraid to reach out and touch your loved one; human touch is important and can be calming and comforting.

The best time to visit someone with dementia varies from person to person, get to know the individual’s routine. Mornings are often a great time to visit. I feel that is when most residents are at their best. As the day goes on, they may get tired or have behaviors due to sundowning, making visits a little more challenging. 

When it is time to end your visit, it is best to never say goodbye. I always say, “I will see you later,” leaving our visit on a positive note.

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® Strongsville in Strongsville, OH offers independent living +, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include Finley’s Restaurant, a 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Conveniently located on State Route 82, residents enjoy a wide range of shopping, dining, attractions, and health service, with a variety of green spaces.

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